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Letter to BS: Congress-JD(S) alliance is questionable on many grounds

Pre-poll coalitions should get the chance if they can stitch together a majority

Business Standard 

With reference to “After the circus” (May 21), I think not only the Bharatiya Janata Party but the and Janata Dal (Secular) should also be severely criticised for their approach to form the government in Karnataka by taking advantage of poll results which threw up a hung Assembly.

The alliance between the two parties is questionable on many grounds. One, now the state will be ruled by two parties which fought against each other fiercely. Two, since the single largest party isn’t one of them, the state will be run by those who the voters least liked. Three, the coalition is led by a party which won just about 20 per cent seats. Four, the meaning of inducement has turned flexible. If offering cash or ministerial position to attract other MLAs is bribery, isn’t offering chief ministership to the smallest party a bigger bribe?

It is, therefore, time the Supreme Court formulated guidelines applicable to hung Assemblies and also decided whether post-poll alliances are valid ab initio or with constraints. This will also help clip the wings of governors. I suggest the first opportunity should be given to the single largest party even if it falls short of a majority, provided the gap is marginal and the party is seen as capable of forming a government with the help of Independents. If this isn’t possible, pre-poll coalitions should get the chance if they can stitch together a majority. In the absence of either, President’s rule should be imposed for six months followed by fresh elections.

Y G Chouksey Pune

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First Published: Mon, May 21 2018. 23:04 IST