In order to prevent the BJP from coming to power in Karnataka, Congress and JD(S) formed a post-poll alliance despite sharing an acrimonious relationship in the past. In the recently concluded elections, Congress and JD(S) candidates were engaged in a very bitter rivalry. During their election campaigns, Congress and JD(S) were attacking each other viciously. Rahul Gandhi, in fact, had called JD(S) the ‘B-team of BJP’ and further stated that ‘S’ in JD(S) stands for Sangh and not secular. JD(S) president H.D. Kumaraswamy had also vehemently attacked the Congress party. Kumaraswamy had said, “I have said this many times, in the democratic set-up of this country, the Congress is more dangerous than the BJP.” HD Kumaraswamy had also alleged Congress’ complicity in the Rs 5,450 crore iron ore scam.
Opportunistic Congress offered an unconditional support to JD(S) and equally opportunistic JD(S) president accepted the offer without any delay and in defiance to the mandate of Karnataka people which was against the Congress. The INC high command forced its local leadership to forge an alliance with JD(S) just to keep the BJP at bay and now the local leadership is unhappy. Yesterday, senior stalwart Congress leader of Karnataka, DK Shivakumar, said that he swallowed bitter pills for a secular Congress-JD(S) alliance. He said that “Rahul Gandhi has taken a decision that there should be a secular government here. That is what the entire country needs and that is why we have taken this stand (alliance with JD-S). I had to swallow all this bitterness since this is my duty.” When he was asked whether he is happy or not with the Congress-JD(S) alliance, he replied, “Sometimes, individuality doesn’t count here. Individuality is not important. Whatever collective or major decisions are taken, one man may like or the other man may not like. I also gave consent for the formation of this government.” Earlier, he told the ANI, “In politics, I have been fighting against the Gowdas since 1985. In the last parliamentary election and assembly election against them, I won against his son, I won against his daughter-in-law.” He further added, “A lot of politics have been played. Lots of cases were also registered. But in the interests of the nation and party, we need a secular government in Karnataka.” When DK Shivakumar was asked about whether Congress-JD(S) government would successfully run a government for five years, he said, “Time will answer. I don’t want to answer it right now. We have various issues, options before us, I can’t tell right now.”
One thing is clear from Shivakumar’s interview is that he is not happy with the alliance and he is not sure about whether the alliance will survive for five years. Clearly, the local leadership is unhappy from the command imposed upon them by senior leadership of the INC.
Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) President G. Parmeshwara, who is expected to become Deputy Chief Minister, said that the alliance with JD(S) is not good for the long term but also conceded that they had no other options.
It is no secret that most of the JD(S) MLAs were fighting against the Congress and they have won most of the seats where they were in a direct contest against the INC. JD(S) MLAs were educating the voters about the need to throw the INC out of power. Congress-JD(S) alliance is against the people’s mandate. Congress is now just contesting elections to keep the BJP away from the power and not to win the election itself. They might have won the battle but they have lost the war by going against the people’s mandate. Their opportunistic alliance proves right what Sri Aurobindo had said in 1909: “Ever since the birth of the Congress, those who have been in the leadership of this great National Movement have persistently denied the general public in the country the right of determining what shall and what shall not be said or done on their behalf and in their name. The delegates have been gathered from all parts of the country, not to deliberate upon public matters, but simply to lend their support to the decisions that had already been arrived at by secret conclaves of half a dozen men.”