Translated by Rajashekhar Akki
Last week when Kumaraswamy made a statement on the possibility of the JDS-BJP coalition it looked almost reckless. But as the week passed it definitely had clear calculations underneath. Now, former PM Devegowda has gone a step further and given clear assurance to the BJP government. Not that it has to do anything with ideology, its all about saving the very existence of JDS.
Yesterday while talking to reporters, Devegowda said that There are no permanent friends and enemies in politics. It changes according to the situation. He tried to defend it by saying that – ‘Siddaramaiah is the leader of AHINDA, I don’t know what leader I am. There can be another election but I am not capable of it. So elections shouldn’t happen’. He said.
Some MLAs have shown an inclination towards BJP and given the history of BJP in poaching MLAs, the horse-trading doesn’t look like a distant possibility.
This week’s development doesnt make the situation any better for H D Devegowda. Some JDS MLCs including Gubbi MLA Srinivas held a meeting and discussed going to a resort. When Devegowda called a meeting of dissatisfied MLAs, the same time Kumaraswami took a flight to London. In such situations, father and son acting as if they have a difference of opinion, expressing helpless in meetings and the father blaming the son or the son blaming his father is one of the technique father-son duo use to tackle such crises. But at the end of the day, they both come to the same stand. Though the difference of opinion between the father and son can be real, they have the expertise to use it to manage dissidence.
The same thing is happening now too. Devegowda has said the same things that HD Kumaraswamy has said. The reasons put forward might seem different. “ I am now convinced that the coalition government fell because of Siddaramaiah”, said Devegowda. It means, to target Siddaramaiah instead of congress, to join hands with BJP and to prepare a narrative that is needed for polarisation of AHINDA versus upper caste; this is the calculation behind all this. This narrative of polarization itself saved JDS in the last assembly elections. But it was dented due to JDS and congress coalition. Now again, to save his core base, he’s trying the same polarization. This was quite apparent in Devegowda’s balanced talk today.
Devegowda who’s also close to Sharad Pawar, what was heard in JDS circle was that, after the unstable situation in Hariyana and Maharashtra, it is quite unlikely that he (Devegowda) will join hands with BJP. But in Karnataka, the situation of JDS seemed quite difficult. There’s merit in Devegowda’s words when he said, it’ll be difficult if we face elections now. Whatever changes that might happen in states but there seems to be no power that might shake Modi-Shah duo in the centre. So, a seasoned politician would definitely know better than getting into an unwanted problematic situation.
So, this time Devegowda hasn’t shown any hesitations. The last when they had a coalition with BJP, words like ‘communalism and secularism’ did end up coming from his mouth but this time, along with showing opposition to Siddaramaiah, he has given clear indication of his support to Yeddyurappa government. Along with this, he has also spread out his future plans; building the party. Whatever criticism we have for ideological opportunism, we have to admire this quality of Devegowda.
Whatever circus they do, it is clear that the Yeddyurappa government will not last for its full term. So, saving the government for some time and preparing for the next election in the meantime is better; that is Devegowda’s calculation. Anyway, they will have to form a coalition with either of the party; they can only build the party to create enough instability to keep the compulsion. In the meantime, they just have to rein in Siddaramaiah.
And probably, Siddaramaiah’s growth too lies in opposing the politics of Yeddyurappa and Devegowda. So, we are seeing the repeat of what happened in 2018.