The Karnataka verdict has shocked and surprised many leaders from the Janata Dal (Secular) and Congress. JDS could not capitalize on the downfall of the Congress which happened as a result of people’s rejection of the Congress’ policies and socially divisive rhetoric. Even though JDS managed to get 38 seats, it could not perform up to its true potential. JDS is after all based in Karnataka, and HD Devegowda, the ex-PM and leader of the party started his political career from Karnataka. Congress CM candidate Siddaramaiah along with Party President Rahul Gandhi could not save Karnataka from slipping through their hands. The problem for Congress and JDS has not stopped even after the verdict came out. Firstly their demands of forming the government were denied by Governor Vajubhai Vala who asked BJP to form the government instead. Now that BJP CM candidate B.S. Yeddyurappa has taken oath as Chief Minister earlier today, BJP will have to prove their majority in the State Assembly in a few days. BJP is looking confident of proving their majority and the disappearance of some alleged defectors from both JDS and Congress is not helping the leaders of two parties.
According to a report published on 16th May in Udayavani, a leading Kannada news website, five MLAs from JDS and ten MLAs from Congress were missing at display. The five senior JDS leaders were missing from the party’s meeting held in the city of Bengaluru. The meeting held in Shangri-La, Vasanthnagar was held in order to decide the future course of action to be taken by the party, the absence of five senior leaders raised tensions in the room filled with 32 other winning MLAs and party cadres. The same situation was on display in the Grand Old Party’s state headquarters in Queens Road in the city, where ten of the 78 winning MLAs remained absent from the party meeting. The whereabouts of both the Congress and JDS MLAs were unknown and there were whispers of defectors doing the rounds in both the offices. The missing MLAs from Congress were Nagendra, Bhimanayak, Ganesh Hukkeri and Anand Singh amongst others.
JDS leader H.D. Kumaraswamy, while speaking to reporters from The News Minute, said that there was no need to worry about the missing MLAs. His statement, “Defectors will come back”, however reeks of the fact that defection has already occurred within the JDS ranks. Defectors have fled and no matter how confident Kumaraswamy may sound today, he would be worried about the number of defectors shifting allegiance.
— TheNewsMinute (@thenewsminute) May 17, 2018
The Congress leadership must be worried about the whereabouts of their defectors as well. JDS MLAs could be furious with their party owing to the party entering into a coalition with their arch-rivals. JDS leaders had in fact based their entire campaign against Siddaramaiah and Congress rule. In the same fashion, Lingayat leaders from the Congress could be angry with their new found allies’ leaders who are primarily from the Vokkaliga community. These two rival parties joining hands might not have been ideal for the MLAs who chose to become defectors and join BJP rather than sit with people who have polar opposite ideologies.
Anand Singh and Pratap Gowda Patil, both MLAs from Congress, have reportedly been missing and the parties are almost sure that they have turned defectors and joined the ranks of BJP as told by JDS leader to The News Minute. The defections have raised tensions in the ranks of Congress and JDS while BJP seems to be getting their game right under the guidance of master strategist Amit Shah.
There has also been news in local Kannada news websites of seven MLAs from the Congress-JDS combine leaving the Eagleton resort owing to health reasons today. The stance of the defectors on the day when CM Yeddyurappa has to prove the majority in the Karnataka state assembly will decide the fate of Congress and JDS in the state for the upcoming five years. BJP has everything to gain while Congress and JDS might end up losing the little they have retained after the elections owing to the defectors stance.