The BJP has fallen short of a simple majority by 8 seats. The state of Karnataka has given a fractured verdict after 10 years. Political instability and lack of governance will again rule the roost if a coalition government were to come to power in a state that is facing multiple challenges at this juncture.
Karnataka has clearly rejected Congress but has failed to replace it with another party with a clear mandate. This has brought together two ‘secular’ parties which may form the next government if nothing comes in their way from now to the oath-taking ceremony/or floor test.
BJP’s performance was nothing short of phenomenal
BJP was up against the most stubborn breaking India forces in the state and still managed to come very close to a simple majority. The party’s performance in this election is nothing short of phenomenal.
This election and its outcome remind me of Modi’s speech on the floor of Rajya Sabha on March 9, 2016. Narendra Modi recited a poem penned by Nida Fazli before concluding his speech. In fact, Karnataka elections and its result can also be described with these verses.
Vikas v/s divisive politics
Safar Mein Dhoop To Hogi Jo Chal Sako To Chalo
Sabhi Hain Bheed Main Tum Bhi Nikal Sako to Chalo
Translation: Scorching sunshine is part of the journey if you can endure, please walk. A huge crowd is walking down this path, if you can get through this rat race, please move ahead.
In the run-up to the Karnataka assembly poll, challenges were thrown at the doorstep of BJP one after the other. Lingayat separate religion card, official state flag demand, North v/s South division (similar to Bihari v/s Bahari rhetoric in the Bihar assembly election). Each demand seemed to be a challenge that would either dent the ideology of BJP or its electoral chances. The entire ecosystem ran a high decibel campaign on TV panels demanding that the party take a stand on these issues.
As Fazli would have said, ‘Sabhi Hain Bheed Main’; in a situation where all parties seek victory at any costs, ‘Tum Bhi Nikal Sako to Chalo’; if you can manage to resist such a temptation, please try. BJP took the difficult path. It did not engage in divisive agenda and sought to focus on important issues.
BJP tried hard to sell its achievements and raised valid issues like poor urban infrastructure, lack of irrigation facilities for farmers, minority appeasement, nepotism and political violence in the state. As a BJP supporter, I was sceptical whether the party could afford to avoid the issues thrown at it by Congress. BJP not only managed to ignore divisive politics but also succeeded in gaining more support because of its different approach.
Modi swung it for BJP, but that was not enough
Kisi Ke Waaste Raahe Kaha Badalti Hain
Tum Apne Aap Ko Khud Hi Badal Sako To Chalo
Translation: Paths do not change because of your wishes. If you can change it yourself, please do.
Pollsters dubbed it a waveless election. Some proclaimed that the Siddaramiah’s bid to break Hinduism and his overtures to AHINDA (minorities, backward castes and Dalits) vote bank could trump the BJP’s chances. His schemes like Indira Canteen and Bhagya schemes were given a thumbs up by dubious panellists. A regular BJP supporter felt that the election was slipping out of the party’s hands.
In Fazli’s words, we needed a man who could change the direction of the election and create a wave based on his own strength. That man turned out to be Narendra Modi. He fought every roadblock in his way. Language barriers, lack of a populist lollipop and race against time. Modi blended his achievements, raised local issues and attacked the misdeeds of Congress and its government during his campaign to sway the public.
We must not undermine the efforts of 75-year-old BS Yeddyurappa while praising Modi’s blitzkrieg in the final week of the campaign. Mr Yeddyurappa had travelled the entire state and prepared the ground for BJP’s final push. In a trilateral battle, Modi’s contribution proved to be instrumental in securing the highest mandate among the parties.
Opportunism and nepotism will now rule the roost
Yahaan Kisi Ko Koi Raasta Nahi Deta
Mujhe Giraake Agar Tum Sambhal Sako To Chalo
Translation: Nobody makes way for others in this crowded path. If you can topple and walk over me while maintaining your balance, please go ahead.
Nobody made way for BJP in Karnataka. Actors, journalists, intellectuals and religious leaders pleaded with the public to vote Congress to serve their own narrow agendas. BJP, Modi ,Amit Shah and Yeddyurappa had to survive this huge opposition in order to obtain the result they have got today.
BJP’s performance is nothing short of poetic justice. Poetic justice for those who chose to stand on the side of unity in Hinduism and against divisive and narrow agendas like a dynastic politics, regional flag, minority appeasement, caste politics or fake Kannada pride. The Congress party which supported such evils has been rejected by the state.
The performance and longevity of the coalition government that is being planned is anybody’s guess. The governance agenda of the new coalition government is still unclear. The only focus right now is to keep ‘communal’ forces out and form a ‘secular’ government.
It must be mentioned that HD Kumaraswamy had promised his voters that he would prefer fresh polls if there was a fractured verdict during his campaign.
“we will not go with either the Congress or the BJP, we will sit in the opposition. If need be we will go for another election but will not join with any party” Kumaraswamy in a TV show to voters some weeks back. https://t.co/lk8iWSsXd4
— Smita Prakash (@smitaprakash) May 16, 2018
The coalition government will serve the interest of JDS which is out of power for more than ten years. Congress which is out of power in most states will use the state as a cash cow and milk the tax payer.
What is Amit Shah thinking?
Amidst all this drama, one would wonder, ‘What is going on in Amit Shah’s mind right now? Is he ready to sit and watch this after all the hard work?’ No one knows. Perhaps he is following the suggestion of Chanakya.
मनसा चिन्तितं कार्यं वाचा नैव प्रकाशयेत्। मन्त्रेण रक्षयेद् गूढं कार्य चापि नियोजयेत् ॥
Transliteration: Manasaa chintitam kaaryam vaacha naiva prakashayet. Mantrena rakshayed goodam karya chaapi niyojayet.
Translation: Whatever action you plan to take should not be revealed with words. It should be protected like a secret until it is put into action.
The drama that will unfold in coming days will be interesting to watch for everyone. Perhaps, it is appropriate to end this article with this quote.
Any man who tries to be good all the time is bound to come to ruin among the great number who are not good. Hence a prince who wants to keep his authority must learn how not to be good, and use that knowledge, or refrain from using it, as necessity requires. ~ Niccolò Machiavelli