The Congress-JD(S) alliance lost the trust vote in the Karnataka Assembly on Tuesday, after a delay of 4 days, as was expected. Ever since the 16 MLAs from the alliance had resigned, the inevitable of the falling of the government was evident to all; except maybe the alliance itself. The drama that surrounded the whole event portrayed how the ruling government in the state was astounded by the decision and how they did everything possible to ensure that the government won’t budge. But alas, in the process of this, the leaders in the alliance have come to be extremely absurd, with their actions and statements questionable at best. Among these, the leader at the forefront is Congress leader and former CM of Karnataka, Siddaramaiah.
By agreeing to let HD Kumaraswamy become the CM last year, in order to keep the BJP out of the state, Siddaramaiah had made quite a sacrifice. Now, with the government falling in front of his eyes, he seemed to have gone completely berserk. By attempting to keep it all together and soothe the disgruntled MLAs, Siddaramaiah had passed a few statements whose meaning is as obscure as the decision of Congress and JD(S) to ally in the first place.
Before the floor test, the former CM had passed a statement which said, “Karnataka has always been known for ethical politics.”
— NEWS9 (@NEWS9TWEETS) July 23, 2019
The veracity of the statement is itself questionable, given the fact that in the Assembly elections, even though BJP had emerged as the party with the maximum seats, the 2 opposition parties had somehow managed to form the government, neither of which had the popular support of the people.
However, the hypocrisy of the statement isn’t the concern here. The disturbing matter is that this is contradictory to the party’s stand as far as “ethics” of the Karnataka politics go. During the whole episode, the Congress and JD(S) had been harping on the immorality of the whole incident, alleging that BJP was indulging in ‘horse-trading’ of the MLAs.
Congress General Secretary in charge of Karnataka, KC Venugopal, said, “The subversion of the coalition government carried out by the BJP is one of the most heinous political horse tradings the country has ever witnessed.” He further continued by stating, “BJP facilitated this dirty-dealing political drama by offering a huge amount of black money and ministerial berths to the defected MLAs.”
The subversion of coalition government in Karnataka carried out by the BJP is one of the most heinous political horse tradings the country has ever witnessed. It was done by the nefarious joint efforts of the Central Govt, Governor, State Govt of Maharashtra & BJP leadership 1/n
— K C Venugopal (@kcvenugopalmp) July 23, 2019
Congress leader Harish Rawat, the former CM of Uttarkhand also stated, “The BJP is buying the Congress MLAs by promising them ministership or money.”
Apart from them, several Congress leaders including Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi have been alleging horse-trading under the garb of “Operation Kamala”. In Puducherry, the Congress leaders even staged a protest against the “Operation Kamala”. As soon as the floor test was conducted in which Congress came out as the loser, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra tweeted, “One day the BJP will discover that everything cannot be bought, everyone cannot be bullied and every lie is eventually exposed.”
One day the BJP will discover that everything cannot be bought, everyone cannot be bullied and every lie is eventually exposed.
— Priyanka Gandhi Vadra (@priyankagandhi) July 23, 2019
While this is what is expected from a party whose government is withering in front of its own eyes, the leaders seem to overlook the fact that in order for BJPs “horse-trading” to work, the MLAs themselves need to be willing to be traded. Thus implying that the MLAs aren’t as “ethical” as Siddaramaiah deems them to be or if in fact, they are, then the whole narrative of the “Operation Kamala” was as futile as the alliance’s efforts to save its government.
After the floor test was conducted in which the alliance lost the government after pulling 99 votes whereas the opposition BJP pulled in 105, Siddaramaiah seemed to further establish how incapacitated he was to make statements. In a bizarre turn of events, he stated, “This wholesale trade is a problem. If there is retail trade of one or two members then it’s not a problem. The MLAs(rebel) who have gone have indulged in wholesale trade.”
Siddaramaiah: This wholesale trade is a problem. If there is retail trade of one or two members then it's not a problem. The MLAs(rebel) who have gone have indulged in wholesale trade. https://t.co/sg8rSRxArU
— ANI (@ANI) July 23, 2019
Siddaramaiah seems to have forgotten that the MLAs are actual people with thinking capacity. Not commodities to be hoarded around without any second thought. In spite of all efforts made by him and the other leaders including DK Shivkumar, in which DK Shivkumar actually went down to Mumbai to talk to the disgruntled leaders, the MLAs refused to succumb to the pressure.
After this statement, he stated, “I would like to reaffirm that those who have fallen for Operation Kamala will never be inducted back to our party. Even if the sky is falling down!!”
I would like to reaffirm that those who have fallen for Operation Kamala will never be inducted back to our party.
Even if the sky is falling down!!@INCKarnataka
— Siddaramaiah (@siddaramaiah) July 23, 2019
This was obviously an attempt arising out of desperation and to soothe the party’s ego, at least in front of the citizens. The MLAs hadn’t gone begging to be inducted in the party so the tweet was quite unnecessary.
What is going on in Siddaramaiah’s mind is best left untouched as his statements don’t seem to be coming from a sane individual. First, he stated that the politicians are ethical, and then he stated that it’s alright to indulge in horse-trading. Thereafter he did a complete u-turn, and bombarded the disgruntled MLAs. It is obvious that Siddaramaiah is not being able to digest the loss of Karnataka and thus, his statements should be perceived for what they are- absurd comments accomplishing nothing. Considering the fact that Siddaramaiah now will have to take the brunt of JD(S)’s wrath over the falling of the coalition, his frazzled attitude isn’t anything out of the ordinary.