Why Kumaraswamy joined hands with Congress and not BJP
Bengaluru, May 17: The "cliffhanger" Karnataka Assembly election 2018, which has thrown more surprises and googlies than any Bollywood suspense thriller in the recent times, has brought to the forefront one interesting politician--Janata Dal (Secular) (JD(S)) leader HD Kumaraswamy, once again.
The state president of the regional party--which is fighting a do-or-die battle in the Karnataka elections--the results of which were declared on Tuesday, has been projected as the next chief minister of the southern state by the Congress-JD(S) alliance.
Well, the prospect of the former CM of Karnataka to grace the coveted chair once again looks unlikely now as the Supreme Court on early Thursday morning has given a go ahead to the swearing-in ceremony of BS Yeddyurappa, the chief ministerial candidate of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Still, we can't rule out Kumaranna (as he is popularly known among his supporters and well-wishers) becoming the next CM till Yeddyurappa proves his majority on the floor of the house. Although Yeddyurappa will be taking oath as the new CM of Karnataka on Thursday morning, the BJP is still short of majority with just 104 seats.
In the 224-member Karnataka Assembly, a party or an alliance needs at least 113 seats to form the government. The Congress and the JD(S) alliance--which was quickly stitched after the results were declared--has 116 MLAs with it.
Instead of giving the alliance a chance to form the government, Karnataka governor Vajubhai Vala asked Yeddyurappa to take oath and prove his government's majority within 15 days. The Congress-JD(S) alliance, which is trying its best to stop the BJP from forming the government in Karnataka, approached the Supreme Court on Wednesday midnight to stop Yeddyurappa's swearing-in. But the apex court declined to interfere with the decision of the governor.
As the chances of JD(S) now look bleak to control the reins of the southern state, an immediate question that everyone is asking as why Kumaraswamy instead of aligning with the BJP went ahead with the Congress. An alliance with the BJP in any case is more profitable for the JD(S). The deal between the JD(S) and the BJP would have seen Kumaraswamy becoming the deputy CM of the state and a few coveted ministerial berths for his party men. But he decided otherwise.
While it is clear that the "anti-BJP" forces goaded the Congress to tie-up with the JD(S) after the grand old party's disastrous performance in the elections, Kumaraswamy actually did not want to "hurt" his father and JD(S) patriarch HD Deve Gowda by joining hands with the BJP.
According to a report by The Indian Express, the JD(S) did not ally with the BJP to form a government in Karnataka because Kumaraswamy would not like to "hurt" his father (former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda) like he had in 2006 by joining hands with the saffron party.
The same report by the English daily added that Kumaraswamy admitted that the BJP had reached out to him through some channels to form an alliance with the saffron party instead of the Congress.
"He has now got an opportunity to wash off the taint that came against him in the past on account of my actions. I have only violated my father's instructions once in my life. Due to my decision then, national leaders started questioning the secular credentials of my father," Kumaraswamy said. He added that his decision pained Deve Gowda and had affected his health too.
So, we see it is father and not political compulsions that guided Kumaraswamy's decision to join hands with the Congress. The JD(S)' deal with the Congress might not result in anything in Karnataka, but one thing is for sure, the anti-BJP forces are coming together ahead of the 2109 General Elections.