The Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) poorly strategised stab at grabbing power in Karnataka blew up in its face. The Supreme Court’s order to conduct the floor test in a day’s time and telecast the proceedings live enabled the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) combine to make short work of the BJP and pre-empted the subversion of democracy. The saffron party is labouring under the delusion that its espousal of Hindu nationalism gives it the right to rule India. Fortuitously, the head-on clash between the BJP and the Congress-JD(S) over government formation gave a fillip to Opposition unity. The formation of a secular government in Karnataka put the brakes on the BJP’s plans to expand its reach in south India and make up for losses in states where it reached saturation point. Collaboration between the Congress and other secular parties will hasten the end of the BJP’s predominance. Opposition parties appear to be willing to make concessions to achieve the ouster of the BJP and the installation of a secular government.
The juxtaposition of nearly all the top Opposition leaders turning up at the swearing-in of H D Kumaraswamy and the absence of PM Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah at the oath-taking ceremony of B S Yeddyurappa will be inescapable. As in Karnataka, the prospect of the BJP sitting in the Opposition benches, even if it registers the sort of “victory” in the state and emerges as the single largest party, in 2019 now seems a distinct possibility.
G David Milton Maruthancode
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