If reports are to be believed, Karnataka Assembly drama does not seem to be ending any time soon. In his first press conference as a deputy chief minister, G Parameshwara said that the party (Congress) has not taken any decision yet to support JDS’ Kumaraswamy as chief minister for full five year term. Adding that their main aim is to first pass the floor test, which will be held later in the day today, and modalities including sharing the CM post are being worked out.
This just adds fuel to the speculation that the cracks in the coalition which everyone could foresee, may appear sooner than later. JDS has 37 MLAs and is dependent on Congress to sustain, had earlier ruled out the possibility of splitting the chief ministership with Congress. But Congress may sit it out till 2019 general elections at least so that it does not have any adverse effect on the general elections.
This is in line with Congress’ ‘give and take‘ formula to uphold constitutional principles and democracy.
A friendly reminder to HD Kumaraswamy, son of HD Deve Gowda: In 1996, where Congress led by P V Narasimha Rao, plagued with scams and scandals, lost decisively but then neither of the other political parties had a majority to form a government. BJP was the single largest party with 161 seats but couldn’t cross the halfway mark. Atal Bihari Vajpayee was invited to form the government and asked to prove his majority within two weeks on the floor of the Parliament. While BJP tried to form a post-poll alliance, it could not reach majority. After trying for 13 days, Vajpayee conceded he could not manage more than 200 seats and resigned rather than face the confidence vote.
The Congress, despite being the second largest party, declined to form the government. Instead, offered external support to small regional parties, which were full of internal conflicts, and in an unexpected move, JDS’ H D Deve Gowda was made the Prime Minister of India. In less than two years, Congress withdrew support and the government collapsed.
History has an uncanny habit of repeating itself.