Sunday, June 26, 2022

The People’s Mandate

By The Editorial Team Updated: Jul 22, 2019 9:47 pm

From the very beginning it was clear that the Congress-JD (S) coalition government in Karnataka would not last long. It was not for the fact that the said government was surviving on a razor-thin majority, but rather because Indian political parties and its leaders are still not mature enough to handle coalition politics. Notwithstanding, many trysts with coalition, political parties in our country are yet to learn the tricks of making a coalition long lasting. Yes, some coalitions do complete its full term in power. But a careful study will prove that there is always a dominant party. Even in those coalitions, all parties did not have equal rights.
So, when the coalition was formed between Congress and JD (S), it didn’t sound sweet to our ears as in such experiments, more often than not governance becomes the first casualty. Welfare schemes hit hard, it does not pay much attention to the plight of the people. All its energy and time is being consumed to ensure the survival of the government. To make matters worse, often sensing the anger amongst the people for the government’s failure, the coalition partners start indulging in blame game, hastening the fall.

Today, Karnataka is experiencing the same conundrum as it has a coalition government in power. It is now certain that the days of Kumarswamy’s government are numbered. Even if the Assembly Speaker disqualifies the rebel MLAs, the ruling coalition come short of the required magic number. This is why the trust vote is being deferred again and again. Kumarswamy’s calculations on trust vote have gone for a toss. The Chief Minister thought that he would be able to survive as the rebel MLAs would have to vote for his government in accordance to party whip. But the Supreme Court has made it clear that rebel MLAs cannot be forced to participate in trust vote. The apex court was right in passing such an order. To avoid party whip, the rebel MLAs cleverly resigned from the Assembly. They didn’t shift their loyalty to another party. Thus a resigned member is not bounded by any whip. Moreover, when the member has already resigned, he or she can’t be forced to attend Assembly session. All in all, the so called master stroke of Kumarswamy has clearly failed to yield any good for his government.

It is not that Karnataka will have political stability once the coalition government is removed and another government takes over. In all certainty, within days from now, a government led by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will form the next government in the State. With the support of the rebel MLAs, it will definitely have the majority. But can only majority ensure stability? One should not forget that rebel MLAs left the present ruling coalition as they were denied ministerial berths and some otherbenefits they sought for. They became rebels not because of any ideological differences, but to satisfy their egos and lust. Who can forecast that those MLAs will not play the same trick once again in the reign of a new government?

So, the need of the hour is to go for fresh polls in Karnataka. Let the people decide whom they want to run the state affairs. Let the message go that defections will not be entertained. Defectors will never be allowed to put their personal ambitions before the State’s interest. Let them understand that mandate is for development and welfare of the people and not to reduce democracy to a farce.

By The Editorial Team Updated: Jul 22, 2019 9:47:25 pm