GET Stock QuotesNews18 APP
News18 English
Powered by cricketnext logo
»
2-min read

With BJP Juggernaut Losing Steam Before the Finish Line, Memories of 'Operation Kamal' Strike Back

The state has, figuratively speaking, travelled back in time to May 2008 and to an infamous political manoeuvre known as 'Operation Kamal'.

News18.com

Updated:May 15, 2018, 3:23 PM IST
facebookTwittergoogleskypewhatsapp
With BJP Juggernaut Losing Steam Before the Finish Line, Memories of 'Operation Kamal' Strike Back
File photo of former Karnataka CM and JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy.
New Delhi: Bugles had been blown and celebrations had been kicked off at party offices across the country, but the BJP juggernaut seems to have lost steam just before the finish line.

BJP’s leads, which once hovered around 115, have now reduced to 105, according to the latest information available with the Election Commission. As trends stabilise, it looks that BJP may fall short of the halfway mark of 112 by at least seven seats. This last minute anti-climax has made things very interesting in Karnataka.

The state has, figuratively speaking, travelled back in time to May 2008 and to an infamous political manoeuvre known as ‘Operation Kamal’.

Assembly elections were held here in 2004 in which BJP emerged as the single largest party with 79 seats. The rest of the seats were almost evenly distributed between Congress (65 seats) and JD(S) (58 seats). And these two parties decided to come together to form the ruling coalition under Congress’ Dharam Singh in what came to be known as the Dharam Singh formula.

The JD(S), however, soon pulled out of this coalition and joined forces with BJP. HD Kumaraswamy, the son of JD(S) supremo HD Deve Gowda, was appointed Chief Minister of the new coalition under a 20- month rotating policy. But Kumaraswamy refused to let BJP’s candidate Yeddyurappa take over when his turn came in 2007. This forced an untenable situation and the government collapsed by October that year. Mid-term polls were announced and full-fledged campaigning kicked-off.`

BJP campaigned against Congress, which was in power at the centre, on issues of inflation and terrorism and again emerged as the single largest party in the polls conducted in May 2008.

But it could again not go past the halfway mark and fell short of the target of 112 by 3 seats. What followed after that was an infamous political manoeuvre known as ‘Operation Kamal’.

BJP allegedly engineered the defection of 4 JD(S) and 3 Congress MLAs and successfully staked claim to form government in the state. Those who defected from their parties were allegedly promised huge rewards, re-elections and important posts in government bodies. BJP continued to work in this direction and went on to claim support of 121 MLAs in the 224- seat House.

JD(S) supremo and former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda termed ‘Operation Lotus’ as a blow to democracy. The chief architect of this operation BS Yeddyurappa later, while announcing his own party in 2013 - the KJP (which he later merged into the BJP), expressed regret over the political wrangling.

While discussions go on between the Congress and JD(S), which has time and again talked about stitching a grand alliance against the BJP at the centre, they will be wary of BJP pulling the rug from under their feet through another ‘Operation Kamal’.

Also Watch

| Edited by: Ashutosh Tripathi
Read full article