Riddled with ego battles, why the Congress-JD(S) alliance will find it hard to survive
The Congress-JD(S) alliance was stitched up in a bid to avoid the BJP from coming to power. The alliance is crucial to the survival of both the parties and also in terms of the 2019 elections.
The BJP feels that the alliance will not last beyond three months and until then would not make any moves. Many have questioned about how this new alliance would run with egos running high and personal rivalry between the members of each of the parties.
Dr. G Parameshwar has said that the times ahead are tough. We see difficult times ahead and we are aware of the people's sentiments against the tie-up.
Senior Congress leader Mallikarjuna Kharge said that considering his party has the higher number of seats, more portfolios should be allocated. One must recall that when the Congress realized the BJP lacked the numbers, it had offered outside support to the JD(S) at first. However, now things have changed and the Congress and JD(S) are locked in an argument as to who gets the bigger share in the ministry.
While Kumaraswamy has rubbished reports of disgruntlement, D K Shivakumar, the man who held the MLAs together has said that the longevity of the alliance would depend on the cooperation by H D Kumaraswamy. He tells the Deccan Herald that Kumaraswamy is an egoistic man and he and his father H D Deve Gowda feel threatened by him. But when the party takes a decision, what can I do, he also said.
The rivalry between Shivakumar and HDK is a well-known fact. It goes back to those days when Kumaraswamy contested his first election from Sathanur and was drubbed by Shivakumar by a margin of 15,000 votes. However, in the recent times, the rivalry has come down a great deal and the two got together to defeat CP Yogeshwar.
The big question is will the alliance hold on. Some analysts are of the view that the alliance would do its best to hold on at least until 2019. Deve Gowda is eyeing a bigger role at the center in case the third front manages to defeat the BJP. For this, he would need to have a considerable amount of Lok Sabha seats to be a player. He would go all out to further consolidate the Vokkaliga votes who form 12 per cent of the electorate.
With the JD(S) at the helm, all important appointments to the top posts would see Vokkaliga candidates and this would help the party in the days to come.
The problem, however, is that the Congress too relies heavily on the Vokkaliga votes. With the Lingayat gamble going horribly wrong for the Congress, they would back on the minorities and Vokkaligas. The Dalits, OBC votes did not turn out exactly how the Congress would have expected and the BJP did manage to bag a large chunk of these votes. For both the Congress and JD(S) the road ahead is the 2019 elections. Both the parties would look to consolidate their vote banks to get a better share in 2019.
The other major issues apart from the DK-HDK factor would be the former JD(S) members now in the Congress family. Siddaramaiah who was part of the JD(S) is bound to be sidelined. Roshan Baig too who was with the JD(S) is slogging it out for a ministry stating that the Muslims had voted largely for the Congress. Making matters worse is the fact is that Gowda is not known to be a man who forgets easily. He is unlikely to be accommodative of the former members of his party which could lead to resentment.
Both parties would, however, take solace in the fact that the alliance that they had formed in the BBMP has been running smoothly. Ramalinga Reddy even said, not all can become ministers and sacrifices would be required from both sides. It is no doubt a challenge indeed to keep the alliance together. Citing the BBMP example may not be good enough because politics of the state and the road leading up to 2019 is a much bigger game with higher stakes.