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Karnataka Politics: Why Janata Dal (S) - BJP coalition failed?
Karnataka chief minister Kumaraswamy has violated the moral and ethical norms of coalition politics by ending his tie-up with BJP once his turn got over. It will dent the ethical standpoint of JD (S) and might affect their chances of victory.
COALITION GOVERNMENTS have now become the need of the country. They have come up as a good alternative in those states where no single party gets full majority. Coalition governments are being formed nowadays due to the emergence of small regional parties, which remain aligned to the ideologies of the particular region. Not only in the centre, but the coalition governments are flourishing in many states also.
In 1977, a coalition government came into existence for the first time in Indian history, when Janata Party led coalition won the Lok Sabha elections and ruled for three years. After that, the United Front coalition ruled between 1996 and 1998 and BJP led the National Democratic Alliance in 1999 and became the first coalition government to complete its full term of five years. In 2004, the Indian National Congress constituted a coalition government with the regional and left-parties. It is still in power and it will always be remembered due to differences in ideologies of the constituent parties on various national and international issues.
However, when we look back in history, we find that coalition governments have been mostly unsuccessful and only a few of them could complete their full terms. Most recent example of this is the failure of the 20 months old Janata Dal (Secular) and BJP coalition government in Karnataka. Both these parties had formed the government 20 months back under the leadership of HD Kumaraswamy. Everything was fine till the end of the tenure of Kumaraswamy as the chief minister of the state.
According to the deal, BJP was demanding a new chief minister from their party. But the Janata Dal (S) supremo and father of Kumaraswamy, HD Deve Gowda, interfered into the government making process. Deve Gowda told that the new chief minister of Karnataka would only be appointed after his acceptance. Hence a series of meetings were held between the top leaders of Janata Dal (S) and BJP.
Deve Gowda and BJP President, Rajnath Singh also met on a personal level, but their talks ended without positive results. Eventually the BJP announced that they are withdrawing their support from the HD Kumaraswamy government and appealed to the Governor for the fresh polls. The BJP also alleged Janata Dal (S) of cheating them. On the other hand, Janata Dal (S) leader, Kumaraswamy said that they were ready for talks but the BJP leaders did not show any interest.
What were the reasons of the failure of the talks between Janata Dal (S) and BJP? It is not clear as yet; the fact is that dirty politics was being played in Karnataka. Most importantly, the gesture of senior leaders of Janata Dal (S) was not right and they broke the faith of their coalition partner BJP. In fact, Kumaraswamy had already completed his tenure, so it was the duty of Janata Dal (S) to handover the chief minister’s post to BJP. Instead of handing over the governance, Deve Gowda and Kumaraswamy made the issue more controversial.
On Monday, Kumaraswamy submitted the resignation of his council of ministers. Later in the day, governor Rameshwar Thakur recommended the imposition of President’s Rule in Karnataka. Ever since the assembly elections in 2004, the coalitions in Karnataka were destined to collapse. Earlier, Kumaraswamy had withdrawn his support from the Congress – Janata Dal (S) coalition led by Dharam Singh and formed government with BJP.
Moreover, the failure of coalition government in Karnataka has added a new chapter in the history of the coalition governments in the country. Only for the lure of chair, Kumaraswamy forgot the morals and ethics that he should have shown as a representative of people. Here I would like to mention that all the coalition governments should take lesson from Jammu and Kashmir’s PDP- Congress coalition. Sticking to their pre-decided bargain, Mufti Mohammed Sayeed left the chief minister’s post for Ghulam Nabi Azad without making any fuss.
Lastly, the government can complete full term only if the motives of the coalition parties remain correct. Without that, the failures of coalition governments would continue to haunts us and wastage of valuable nation’s time and money would continue.
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wasim akram
merinews for RTI activists
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deve gowda
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