Two Midnight Dramas that Could Usher New Dawn for Opposition
A Congress-JD(S) coalition in Karnataka has larger ramification on national politics. Congress has given a message to regional satraps on its willingness to accommodate them in the state and at the Centre.
Illustration by Mir Suhail.
New Delhi: Ram Nath Kovind’s comprehensive victory in last year’s Presidential Elections had two important messages embedded. The cross voting by MLAs in Maharashtra showed that the BJP’s dependence on its ally Shiv Sena had reduced considerably. And the once all-powerful political secretary to then Congress President Sonia Gandhi would find the going tough in getting re-elected to the Rajya Sabha from Gujarat.
The midnight political drama that unfolded during the RS polls later in 2017 went on till the wee hours with Patel finally managing to scrape through by the skin of his teeth.
If that RS polls galvanised Congress to make a strong bid for power in Gujarat that year, another midnight drama that unfolded in Delhi and Bengaluru earlier this week has if anything galvanised the opposition ahead of the next general elections.
The BJP’s determined bid for power was challenged by the JD(S)-Congress combine in the Supreme Court. The entire process drew support from non-BJP regional satraps from DMK to Mamata Banerjee to TDP chief N Chandrbabu Naidu.
In the Hindi heartland, BSP chief Mayawati, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav and RJD in Bihar condemned the BJP’s attempt to form government in the face of JD(S)-Congress claiming support of majority in the house.
BJP under Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah have often spoken about ‘Congress mukt Bharat’. The party has made a determined bid for power in every state. From Goa to Meghalaya to Manipur. Even in provinces where the Congress emerged as the single largest party closer to the half way mark in assemblies.
During Karnataka polls, the PM said once the results are out the Congress would be reduced to three Ps —Punjab, Puducherry and the Parivaar.
A Congress-JD(S) coalition in Karnataka has larger ramification on national politics. Firstly, the Congress has given a message to regional satraps on its willingness to accommodate them in the state and at the Centre. Deve Gowda doesn’t come alone. He may bring with him other regional leaders who are not yet in the BJP camp.
Emulation of the model in other states where the Congress is still a player may lead to building up of small yet concentrated electoral blocks in other provinces.
In Karnataka, a JD(S)-Congress will be a strong force to reckon with in the 28 Lok Sabha seats. Yes, it may give the BJP an opening in the Old Mysore region, but will party gather enough traction to convert votes into seats.
Politics does make strange bedfellows. Till last week Congress accused JD(S) of working as BJP’s B-team. Now, the Congress party is vouching for the secular credentials of the Deve Gowda and Kumaraswamy.
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