Politics is not just a number game! It is a shrewd game that is swiftly played in the right way at the right time. The 2018 assembly elections in Karnataka have proved it again. Though, theoretically BJP emerged as the single largest party and it is almost set to form the government in Karnataka, it is turning into very grim situation in the saffron camp.
No doubt Narendra Modi- Amit Shah juggernauts almost crushed the Congress led by Rahul Gandhi and Siddaramaiah in the Battle Royale. But, the second time lucky JD(S) got just enough numbers which have made a huge difference. After losing the elections very badly, the Congress party’s swift action, that too before the last whistle was blown, has started the real political ‘Nataka’ (drama) in Karnataka.
As soon as the Congress sensed that the BJP will fail to attain a simple majority and come very close to 113 magic figure, it swung in to action. The party high command and the state leaders took a decision of unanimously supporting the JD (S) and its chief ministerial candidate HD Kumaraswamy.
So, as expected, instead of being the kingmaker, the JD (S) has become the king. Now, the ball is in the court of Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala.
According to the tradition, he has to the call single largest party to form the government. It means that the BJP should get the first invitation from Vajubhai. What will the governor do if the Congress and the JD (S) parade all their MLAs together and submit a written letter, seeking invite to form the
In the meantime, the election machinery of BJP will not keep quite. When the first trend started emerging in the early hours, almost everyone thought the BJP will cross the magic number and BS Yeddyurappa will certainly become the new Chief Minister of Karnataka. Both in Bengaluru and New Delhi, the party cadres started rejoicing. In New Delhi headquarters, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, party President Amit Shah and Yeddyurappa were all set to address the party cadre on Tuesday evening.
As the dramatic shift happened after a few hours during the counting, the BJP went from celebration to shock. The Congress wisely thought that there was nothing to lose and immediately swung into action.
Will the BJP keep quite? It will not. Already all its major players like Amit Shah, Dharmendra Pradhan, Prakash Javadekar and J P Nadda have descended in Bengaluru on Monday evening in a chartered flight from New Delhi.
Once again in this tricky situation, does the BJP will go for horse trading like it did the last time? In 2008, the BJP on 110 seats and fell short of 3 seats to get a simple majority. Luckily, they had enough number of independent MLAs at that moment and practically with the help of Bellary Reddy brothers’ money and muscle power, they managed to get six independent MLAs on their side and formed the government.
This time the situation is not the same. The BJP needs even more numbers. But they have only two independent MLAs. Already, the Congress has cornered one independent MLA and only one is left in the market now! The other option is to break a fraction either from the Congress or the JD(S). That looks very difficult at this moment.
The last option for the BJP is to beg in front of JD(S) supremo HD Deve Gowda. By hook or crook, convince him and get his support to form the government. The question is who will be the chief minister then? BS Yeddyurappa from the BJP or HD Kumaraswamy from the JD(S)?
Senior Gowda will never allow this golden opportunity and he will have a single point agenda, and is sure to tell the BJP, ‘make my son the CM.’ Will the BJP agree for it? Or, will it allow the Congress to support the JD(S) and silently allow that government to rot? Interestingly, the BJP has also sent its emissary R Ashok to get the blessing of Deve Gowda.
Will Gowda support the BJP or stick to his good old secular mantra and take the Congress support to make his son the chief minister?
The drama will continue for some time. The two main actors in this drama will be none other than Governor Vala and 24x7 politician, son of the soil, HD Deve Gowda.