Amit Shah’s three options to get the required MLAs for majority in Karnataka.

After the Karnataka Assembly election results, the BJP has emerged as the single largest party with 104 seats, eight short of the majority mark. Today, after meeting with the Governor, Yeddyurappa announced that tomorrow he is going to take oath as Karnataka CM. Earlier, Congress had extended support to JD(S) and announced that it will support the Chief Ministership of HD Kumaraswamy. JD(S) accepted the offer without any delay. Both BJP and Congress-JD(S) alliance members met with the governor and staked their claims to form their government in Karnataka. Even after Yeddyurappa’s announcement, Congress and JD(S) MLAs are running the signature campaign in support of Chief Ministership of HD Kumaraswamy.

High voltage political drama is still going on and it is getting intense with each passing minute. Although, BJP’s CM candidate has announced that tomorrow he will be taking the oath, but the truth is that BJP does not have magical numbers, they are eight short of the majority mark. In that case, there are three options to get to the magical number.

The first one would be to bring on board the Congress MLA D.Shivakumar who is a Congress strongman and said to have the support of 10 MLAs behind him. Reportedly, one independent MLA is also with him. He wants to become Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka but JD(S) has already announced that they will make their candidate, Parmeshwara, Deputy CM of the state. According to some media reports, he is in touch with Amit Shah. After the election results, it has become evident that Congress does not have much left in terms of electoral future. So, it makes more sense for D. Shivakumar to jump ship rather than drown with it. Amit Shah is likely to emphasize this point.

Secondly, many Lingayat MLAs who are uncomfortable with Congress’ decision to support Kumaraswamy who is a Vokkaliga, might extend their support to BJP. These angry MLAs propound that after this Congress-JD(S) coalition, Lingayat voters would further alienate from the Congress.  Heavyweights like Anand Singh, Rajashekar Patil, Nagendra and M Y Patil are not at all comfortable with the idea of Congress-JD(S) coalition government. One of the major causes of their resentment is the manner in which Lingayats had cast their votes. They feel that the issue would have a major impact on the outcome of 2019 Parliamentary elections in the state. Lingayats constitute 17 percent of the Karnataka population. It would also send the message that Congress and JD(S) are trying to keep the tallest Lingayat leader, BS Yeddyurappa away from the Chief Ministership. Some media reports also state that Lingayat MLAs, unhappy with Chief Ministership of HD Kumaraswamy, are in touch with BJP. This could be one of the most likely scenarios for the BJP to reach to the majority mark.

And lastly, BJP can try and bring JD(S) MLAs into BJP fold. Both BJP and JD(S) were in total opposition to Congress. People voted JD(S) because they were completely anguished by the Congress.  JD(S) has mostly won where it has contested against the Congress. The mandate of Karnataka voters was against the Congress that’s why it has come down to 78, a loss of 43 seats.  If JD(S) enters into an alliance with Congress, it will further anguish their voters and they might cast their votes against JD(S) in 2019 Parliamentary elections. Whatever the mandate JD(S) has got it is against Congress. The alliance between Congress-JD(S) tantamount to a total disregard to the mandate of the people which was clearly against the Congress.

As far as money-power is concerned, both the parties (BJP and Congress) have plenty to offer. The pendulum is likely to swing in the favor of the party which can offer a better future prospect for the disgruntled MLAs. Going by the history of post-poll arithmetic in recent years, Amit Shah and BJP clearly have the advantage in this regard.

Doors of all the aforementioned possibilities are open and it would be interesting to see what new twists and turns are going to come in Karnataka politics. All eyes are now on Amit Shah.

 

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Shubham Singh

21, (BA) Political Science Hons, PG Diploma in RTV, Learner.

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