The Karnataka Assembly election results almost look like a game of chess with way too many pawns in one. The electorate has given a mixed verdict. No single party managed to secure a clear majority. That has only added to the high drama in the state. The parties which were bitterly contesting against each other are suddenly busy courting each other.
Earlier during the campaign, the Congress referred to JD(S) or the Janata Dal (Sangh Parivar) as the B Team of the BJP. But all the pre-election invectives are now forgotten. The Congress party is now busy courting them to keep the BJP out of power.
What’s even more dramatic is the man who announced the Congress party’s unconditional support, none other than the outgoing Karnataka Chief Minister, Siddaramiah. Let me just remind readers that Siddaramiah had spent over two and a half decades in the Janata Dal and had a bitter parting with the party. He went on to join the Congress party soon after that.
On the face of it and based on pure mathematics, the Congress, JD(S) and independents enjoy majority. But the BJP ain’t giving up that easily either. It has already gone ahead and staked its claim to form the government on the ground that it is the single largest party in the newly elected Assembly. The ball now lies in the Governor’s court. There too irony greets the power seekers. Vajubhai Vala who is the Karnataka Governor now was the Gujarat BJP Chief in 1996. The man who imposed President’s rule in Gujarat in 1996 was HD Deve Gowda, part of the Congress-JDS alliance in the Centre at that times.
So it goes without saying that the high drama in the state may be far from ending anytime soon. However a win for the Congress at this juncture would surely have boosted the party’s morale. With assembly elections coming up in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Mizoram in November-December, this result can be a major gamechanger. They are reduced to only a single state in the country, i.e Punjab ahead of the general elections in 2019.
For the BJP too, a clear majority would surely have helped but as per many poll pundits the triple digit count indicates that they are not just a party for the Hindi belt. In whose favour the Governor may swing his decision is the key issue to watch out for now in Karnataka.