The ‘opportunistic alliance’ between the Congress and JD(S) in its craving to form the government in Karnataka, which was evidently nothing but a compromise, seems to be constantly grappling to accommodate each other.
In a pitching reference to some Congress leaders who are said to begrudging the Karnataka CM, H.D Kumaraswamy for latching on to the highest post, he, on Saturday, broke down at a JD(S) event and told party cadre that he would not keep the post at the cost of his self-esteem.
At the event which was organized to facilitate him on becoming the CM, a teary-eyed Kumaraswamy confessed that he is not happy with the present situation (of a coalition government) as it is a source of pain for him, akin to swallowing poison.
Kumaraswamy even refused to accept garlands and bouquets at the event. “You’re happy that your Anna became the chief minister but I do not share your happiness. I’m swallowing my pain, which is like swallowing poison, without sharing it”, Karnataka CM said in the context of heading a coalition government that lacks people’s mandate. Refusing to accept the facilitation Kumaraswamy said in a poignant voice, “If I decide to do so, I can step down within two hours,” clearly exposing the undercurrent between the two parties.
The Chief Minister said he was upset with the criticism he faced within two months of forming the government. “I don’t waste time and energy to save my chair. I have inherited the legacy of my father H.D. Deve Gowda, who quit the post of Prime Minister,” he said.
Expressing his limitations in implementing the promises made in the run-up to Assembly elections, the CM said: “I don’t know whether farmers are satisfied or not. The BJP is still accusing me of not fulfilling promises on the old age pension, allowance for pregnant women, among other things.” which clearly indicated that he is a merely a puppet in hands of the Congress and that what is irking him is that being the CM, he is not being able to take decisions on his own.
Citing fiscal hurdles in increasing the quantity of rice given to BPL card-holders from 5 kg to 7 kg, he said an additional ₹2,500 crore would be needed for the purpose. “Where do I get the money from”, said the anguished CM, in retaliation to these allegations which according to him, were being constantly barbed at him.
As quoted by TOI, The Karnataka CM ranted that people come to hear him speak but do not turn up to vote for him. “God has given me this power and he’ll decide how many days I stay in power”.
Congress and the JD(S), both ensuing completely different ideologies, were earlier in lock horns with each other over several issues, as they decided to go hand in hand in its quest to overthrow BJP. In fact, it’s ironical that the two had bitterly campaigned against each other before getting into this alliance.
Post-Karnataka elections, which concluded in May, BJP had emerged as the single largest party acquiring 104 seats. In this high-strung ‘Game of Thrones’ which had kept the entire nation on the edge of their seats, the Congress in its desperation to retain power was quick in teaming up with the JD(S) which was clearly nothing but a compromise.
And this eventually, almost immediately started showing up, when almost in no time an intense lobbying from both Congress and JDS for ministerial berths in the present government started surfacing. Congress party demanded two Deputy CM posts and reports suggests that JDS was not willing to consider. D K Shivakumar, one of the most powerful leaders of Karnataka Congress was also lobbying for the post, but the JDS was not keen to give in. Amidst this confusion, a Muslim faction had also demanded the post to be given to their community. As there are considerable MLAs from the Lingayat community, they too demanded the Deputy Chief Minister post for their community creating a considerable amount of internal turbulence. This is somehow just the beginning, the climax to this high-octane drama is yet to unfold.