Congress unhappy with Kumaraswamy’s chief ministership, a repeat of 1996?

As reported earlier, Congress and JD(S) alliance does not appear like a great idea, as time goes by, more and more signs of a repeat of 1996 are getting clearer. According to a report, several Congress leaders have raised concern about granting H.D. Kumaraswamy the entire five-year term as the Chief Minister of Karnataka.

The Congress leaders feel as they have been handed an unfair deal. Lok Sabha MP Mallikarjun Kharge has criticized  Venugopal’s decision to declare Kumaraswamy’s full-term chief ministership by a joint declaration during a joint press conference with JD(S), which took place on Friday. Kharge failed to understand the logic of giving Kumaraswamy and JD(S) the chief ministerial position when JD(S) has only managed to won 37 seats, whereas, on the other hand, Congress managed to win 79 seats in the state.

Many leaders in the Congress, including M. Veerappa Moily reportedly felt disappointed for the decision taken by the Congress Chief of Karnataka, Venugopal, regarding the chief ministerial berth and key portfolios which have been given to JD(S) despite of them winning nearly half the number of seats than Congress managed to, in the state.

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The Congress state leadership clarified on Friday about the full-term chief ministership of Kumaraswamy when talks of Congress wanting a 30:30-month rotational chief-minister for the alliance was making rounds. The Deputy Chief Minister G. Parameshwara said that the central Congress leadership took the decision to award Kumaraswamy the full term.

In 1996 general elections the mandate produced a hung assembly just like in Karnataka assembly polls, 2018. Similarly, then also BJP came out as the single largest party bagging 160 odd seats, the Congress won 140 seats, their worst till that point in history. The Janata Dal won 45 seats and other parties won around 100 seats. No party or coalition had the required numerical strength to form the government.

The then President Shankar Dayal Sharma asked the largest party leader, Vajpayee to form the government, Vajpayee was sworn in as the Prime Minister of India but he resigned right before the floor test. The Karnataka fiasco saw a similar scenario where BJP’s Yeddyurappa was asked by the Karnataka Governor to form the government and after the swearing in ceremony, Yeddyurappa also tendered his resignation before the house with minutes remaining till the commencement of floor test.

In both instances, the Congress manipulated and subverted the people’s mandate. It was Congress who provided support to the then coalition helping it to assume power. In 2018, it is the same Congress which helped junior Gowda to assume power.


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