The ex-Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has been completely sidelined by the party after the poor performance of the Congress party in the recently concluded Karnataka assembly election. The congress party came down to 78 in 2018 from 122 in 2013. But ironically most of the seats which the Congress won in the Karnataka election are all because of Siddaramaiah.
The Kurubas have been overwhelmingly with the Congress Party because Siddaramaiah belongs to the Kuruba community. A majority of the Congress MLAs elected in Karnataka were supported heavily by the community. Now that Siddaramaiah has been sidelined and a hotchpotch alliance has been formed to keep the BJP out, BS Yeddyurappa is playing his cards smartly. According to Yeddyurappa the Congress won at least 50 seats because of this community and that by sidelining Siddaramaiah, they have betrayed the community. Also by forming an alliance with the JD(S) the Congress has disrespected the Kurba community and they have completely ignored the contribution made by Siddaramaiah in the victory of the Congress in the 78 seats.
BS Yeddyurappa claims that at least 90 percent of the MLAs of Congress’ are unhappy. Earlier the Congress party strongman DK Shivakumar said that he swallowed bitter pills for a secular Congress– JD(S) alliance. 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”. 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”. After the interview one can easily figure out that Shivakumar 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.
Immediately after the elections results were announced, the Congress party extended its unconditional support to the JD(S). The JD(S) accepted the offer without any delay and thus both formed an ‘unholy alliance’. This alliance is riddled with ego battles and old rivalries between the candidates of the two coalition partners. According to experts such an alliance is not likely to survive for a long time and we might witness a Bihar like situation again. Elections might happen soon in Karnataka, and along with the steadfast support of the Lingayats and the backward communities, the BJP might be able to bring a large chunk of the Kuruba votes. The BJP managed to get a large chunk of OBCs and Dalits votes while the Congress gamble of granting separate religion status to Lingayat went completely wrong. In case if elections happen again there is a huge possibility of transfer of large chunk of Vokkaliga votes to the BJP because Kumaraswamy has betrayed the Vokkaligas’ by forming an alliance with the rival Congress. The overall conditions are favorable for the BJP if re-elections happen.