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The 'Nataka' of Karnataka: According to the Congress even 'unconditional support' comes with conditions!
Even a week after the oath taking of HD Kumaraswami, the expansion of ministries hasn't taken place in Karnataka as the bargaining is still going on. The Congress wants all the plump ministries whereas the JD(S) can't afford to part with all the lucrative portfolios because Kumaraswamy has to also satisfy his own party leaders including his brother HD Revanna.

The conflict reached such an extent that HDK himself had to say that he was at the "mercy of Congress" and not the 6.5 crore people of Karnataka as he didn't get a clear mandate. Kumaraswami's father and former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda has too openly criticised the Congress and blamed the party for the deadlock. Even if there is some last minute understanding on portfolio sharing I don't think that this dispute will be settled permanently. Observing how the situation was developing in Karnataka, I had written an article titled 'Why Congress-JD(S) government won't last long in Karnataka?'  which was published on Merinews on 23 May 2018. However, even I hadn't expected so much of 'Nataka' (drama) to unfold!

On May 15, the day the Assembly election results were declared and it became abundantly clear that Karnataka was headed for a hung Assembly, the Congress held a press conference in haste and announced that they were extending support to the JD(S) "unconditionally" for forming the next government in the state. The Congress also issued a letter mentioning that the support was "unconditional".

But now the question is what did the Congress actually mean by "unconditional"? Did it mean that the JD(S) will be given the CM's post and rest of all the important portfolios would automatically fall into Congress' lap? If yes, then it seems that the Congress has coined a new definition of the English dictionary word "unconditional" wherein even "unconditional" comes with certain conditions and riders, though obscurely annexed in the fine print.

It's completely understandable that there might be certain pressure groups working inside the Karnataka State Congress as well which is headed by DK Shivakumar and G Parameshwara.

According to a TOI report, finance ministry is a major bone of contention between both the coalition partners, the Congress and the JD(S). On Monday, a three-hour long meeting was held at Ghulam Nabi Azad's residence in New Delhi to resolve the issue. During the meeting HD Kumaraswamy told the Congress leaders that it was a convention in Karnataka to allow the junior partner to keep the finance portfolio. But when the Congress leaders refused to relent, Kumaraswamy sought more time, saying that he would consult JD(S) chief HD Deve Gowda.

Apart from finance, a tug of war continues between the Congress and the JD(S) over a few other key portfolios such as energy, water resources and PWD. While Kumaraswamy's elder brother HD Revanna is eyeing the PWD and energy ministries, Congress leader DK Shivakumar is too keen on the energy portfolio.

Although I'm almost certain that this alliance won't last long, this 'Nataka' in Karnataka will continue for some more time. Whenever there will be some sort of an agreement a new group will stand up with fresh demands until the government finally falls.

Someone asked me that if the Congress has so many conditions in an unconditional support, what would be their conditions if they chose to extend conditional support? I fail to answer, if you know the answer please express yourself in the comments section.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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