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MLAs for Sale, Democracy at Stake

Karnataka election results appear to be the proverbial slip between the cup and the lip for the BJP, despite emerging as the single largest party, falling short of a simple majority by a tempting eight seats. Since the JD(S) and the Congress have decided to form a coalition government, the door seems to have been shut on the part of the BJP. However, the factional it looks like BJP won’t give up without putting up a nasty fight. Karnataka is bracing for dramatic episodes in the next few days before a clear picture emerges. Politics is at the lowest abating in the Indian democracy. Every party is playing dirty politics and unethical acts to attain power. It is a pity that everyone at the end of the day is only talking about the numbers which clearly determines that the MLAs are just commodities. The parties are determined to go to any extent to get the numbers either through unholy alliance or by poaching and absolutely there is no ethics. The tragedy is that the two major national parties are squarely responsible for these wrong acts and instead of leading the nation by good examples they are ruining the system. This is not a fight for morality or mandate. People’s mandate turned out to be a hung assembly and hence it led to horse-trading in the state!

BJP is no saint (though they endorse everyone who claims to be one). Manipur, Meghalaya, Goa are the testament to BJP’s horse-trading and not people’s mandate if one considers simple majority to be the mandate. The political parties all over the world are dividing people into factions. Congress got more vote share than BJP. So, we should stop saying they got a majority. They should start saying they are the second largest by vote share. You can’t claim one rule for Goa and the opposite in Karnataka. Majority people voted for secular parties, not BJP. During elections, BJP and its leaders tried to shunt Congress out of the state. Now Congress wants BJP out at any cost. BJP leaders are hell-bent upon and are greedy to somehow rule the state of Karnataka. They are trying their best to manipulate to get the figures in order to make up for the shortage in the halfway mark total. But the Governor should not be partial and must try to go according to the rules and invite the party or parties who have now aligned and who have the numbers beyond the halfway mark and this has been achieved by the Congress and JD(S) parties.

Thus, even supporting JD(S) and agreeing to have that party’s MLA as the CM in spite of Siddaramaiah’s bitter enmity with Gowdas is agreeable to Congress.

Now begins the cruellest part of democracy— the buying and selling, a game that has no bounds, no ethics and the most hated. The main problem for the Congress is that they will be penalised for wrongdoings; this is what will urge them to form a coalition government. With the cliffhanger 2018 Karnataka Assembly contest leading to a hung assembly, all eyes are now on Governor Vajubhai Vala. Both, the BJP — which has emerged as the single largest party with 104 seats — and the post-poll combine of the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) with 118 seats (including one BSP member and two independents), have staked a claim to form the government.

The Governor is learnt to have told a delegation of leaders from both the sides that he will be deciding on the next course of action after receiving the official notification from the Election Commission. All three parties held legislature party meetings. Both the BJP and the Congress have said they will meet the Governor again immediately after the meeting. As far as the moral side is concerned, the people have neither rejected Congress nor BJP rather they gave more support to Congress. BJP was always claiming to be a party of morals and characters. Is this the moral and character of any political party?
Meanwhile, H.D. Kumaraswamy accused BJP of offering Rs 100 crore to some JD(S) MLAs. Outgoing Chief Minister Siddaramaiah accused Narendra Modi of encouraging horse-trading. They have 117 MLAs. He said that the Governor should give the opportunity to JD(S)-Congress combine for forming the government.

If you remember, BJP had carried out Operation Lotus in 2008 when it was short of a majority and poached at least six JD(S) and Congress MLAs by making them resign from the assembly membership. Later they were asked to contest on the BJP ticket. Once again, BJP in the central government is surely putting democracy on the deathbed in its quest for power. Never ever have you witnessed such an open form of horse-trading in the name of disgruntled elements? Before the counting has ended and letter of support has been given by the Congress, BJP and RSS panellists had stated openly on television that there would be people who will be unhappy with this arrangement. How do they know about it in the first place? What kind of democracy are we practising? Is there any law-enforcing agency that can take note of it? Do we have the rights to call ourselves as the second largest democracy? Is this not Corruption?

Dr Vaidehi Taman
Dr Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with Honourary Doctorate in Journalism, Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. for 11 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond The News (international) and Maritime Bridges. She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which caters to her freelance jobs.

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