Skip to main content

Congress top brass not sure of Karnataka win? View spreads, ex-PM Deve Gowda to back BJP if it's hung assembly

Deve Gowda with Siddaramaiah
By Our Representative
Despite the hype created by Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah that the Congress would surely romp back to power in the forthcoming state assembly polls scheduled for mid-May, there appear to uncertainty within at the very top in the grand old party, if an article published in a media outfit directly controlled by party chief Rahul Gandhi is any indication.
Written by KS Dakshina Murthy, visiting professor at the Indian Institute of Journalism & New Media, Bengaluru, the article, written amidst "disappointed ticket-seekers" shedding tears and "pugnacious politicians" raising their voices as the assembly elections approach, insists, there are some "obvious questions that dodge definitive answers" on whether the state will see "single party rule or a coalition."
Murthy quotes former United States Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, in a totally different context, to sum up the situation. Rumsfeld said, if there are "things we know that we know", "there are things that we know we don't know", and, also, "there are things we don't know we don't know."
Given this framework, says Murthy, if there is just one "know" there are at least two "know unknowns" that may play a significant role in the eventual outcome. One of these is the Janata Dal (Secular) factor, while the other is the Lingayat issue.
Murthy, in his article in the online edition of "The National Herald", the newspaper founded by Jawaharlal Nehru, and currently controlled by the Gandhi family which holds the sway on the Congress, does not rule out the possibility of a hung assembly, "where the JD(S) can be the decider between being in government or the Opposition, the situation can turn tricky for the Congress and the BJP."
Murthy surprisingly underlines, "As it stands, the JD(S) has not clearly spelt out its position and is not likely to do so. The cards are however stacked in favour of it supporting BJP, in the event of a hung assembly. This prima facie reason is because the JD(S) patriarch, former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda, has a sour relationship with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah."
According to Murthy, "Deve Gowda and Siddaramaiah go back a long way, with the former prime minister mentoring the chief minister in the early days of his career. With Gowda promoting his own son HD Kumaraswamy over Siddaramaiah, the relationship did not last. Siddaramaiah quit the JD(S) and joined the Congress in 2006. Not only did he cock a snook at Deve Gowda, he went on to become the chief minister."
In fact, says Murthy, "A few weeks ago the JD(S) leadership met senior Congress politicians and said the party would support it, but on the condition that Siddaramaiah is replaced by someone else. Since then, the Congress has all but taken on the JD(S), with party president Rahul Gandhi calling it JD (Sangh Parivar) and the ‘B’ team of the BJP."
The other “know unknown” is the Lingayat factor, says Murthy. "No party is sure which way the Lingayat vote will go, whether it will split or whether it will make no difference. Traditionally, the Lingayat vote was with the Congress. It then shifted to the erstwhile Janata Dal’s late leader Ramakrishna Hegde, who transferred it to the BJP during their alliance in 1999."
He continues, "In the 2004 and 2008 elections, the Lingayat vote was perceived to have gone en masse to the BJP, enabling its good showing. By recommending minority religion status to the Lingayats, a long-standing demand of the community, Siddaramaiah has calculated that it would benefit the Congress on the assumption that a large section of the community will favour his party."
However, Murthy underlines, "Since the state government’s recommendation was sent to the Centre, strangely not much is being spoken about the issue by both the Congress and the BJP."
According to Murthy, "While the Congress is wary of a blowback against its decision among sections of the community, the BJP is caught in a fix on how to respond to the decision. It can neither support nor oppose it, as either will result in flight of votes to the Congress. It has taken refuge under the excuse that it cannot take a decision as the model code of conduct is in place for the elections."

Comments

TRENDING

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

"Misleading" satellite images being shared on Balakot surgical strike on Jaish camp

By Dr Vinay Kate*
With every passing day more questions are being raised about the surgical strike India did in Balakot as a response to Pulwama attacks. So far the Indian media has claimed mass casulaty of 300+ terrorists of Jaish-e-Mohammad in this surgical strike, but there is hardly any report from foreign media about the same.

Extreme repression, corporate loot, cultural genocide "characterise" India's tribal belt

Counterview Desk
As Lok Sabha polls approach, there is considerable ferment in one section of the population -- India's Adivasis, forming about 8.6 per cent of India's population. Things became particularly critical following the February 14, 2019 Supreme Court order, allegedly seeking to evict lakhs of tribals from their forest lands.

Industry in India "barely growing", export growth 0%, whither moral anchors?

Counterview Desk
In a sharp critique of the Modi government, the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A), one of world renowned economist Prof Kaushik Basu, who is Professor of Economics and Carl Marks Professor of International Studies at Cornell University, has told students at the IIM-A’s 54th Annual Convocation on March 16, 2019 that they have a “special responsibility” on their shoulders, “the responsibility to reject narrow sectarianism, uphold scientific thinking, openness to new ideas, and freedom of speech.”

Congress would win just 9 of 26 Lok Sabha seats: Gujarat Assembly segment-wise analysis

By Rajiv Shah
Even as the Congress plans its first working committee meet in Gujarat on February 28 after an almost 58 year gap, there is reason to wonder what is in store for India’s grand old party in a state which has been long been a BJP bastion – in fact ever since mid-1990s. Ahead of the then assembly polls in late 2012, talking with me, a senior Gujarat Congress leader, currently Rajya Sabha MP, frankly said he saw no reason why Congress would win.

Financial inclusion? Not micro-loans; India's poor "need" investment in health, education

By Moin Qazi*
India has grown into a global powerhouse. Its economy is soaring but the picture on the ground is still quite arid. The green shoots that you see are only a patch of its landscape. Most Indians are hapless victims of inequity. India is one country where intense poverty abounds in the shadow of immense wealth.

"Pro-corporate" Supreme Court order on FRA would further marginalize Adivasis

By VS Roy David, JP Raju*
For millions of Adivasis and other traditional forest dwellers February 13, 2019 will go down in history as the day of apocalypse. This is like the proverbial Black Friday where millions of most marginalized people of India were ordered by malicious anti-people draconian Supreme Court order depriving them the life and livelihood by evicting them from their habitats.

India, Pakistan told to eliminate nuclear weapons: N-war "would kill" 2 billion

Counterview Desk
The International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), a non-partisan federation of national medical organizations in 64 countries, representing tens of thousands of doctors, medical students, other health workers, and concerned citizens, claiming to share the common goal of creating a more peaceful and secure world freed from the threat of nuclear annihilation, has warned that “an unprecedented global catastrophe” awaits the globe against the backdrop of warmongering in India and Pakistan.

Modi wants Pak govt be held responsible for JeM terror strike: World doesn't agree

By Sandeep Pandey*
I went to participate in a candle light homage paying event at Dr BR Ambedkar's statue organised by about 200 Dalit students on Hazratganj main crossing in Lucknow on February 16, 2019 evening, two days after the dastardly terrorist act in Pulwana, Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), in which 44 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel was killed.

Women, business, law: India scores worst among all BRICS, several African nations

By Rajiv Shah
A new World Bank report ranks India 125th in its Women, Business and the Law (WBL) index among 187 economies it seeks to analyse across the globe. The report's main aim claims to be to "gain new insight into how women’s employment and entrepreneurship choices are affected by legal gender discrimination. On a scale of 100, India's score is 71.25, worse than the global average of 74.71.