Saturday, January 19, 2019

Now Running…The Karnataka Potboiler

The recent blockbuster KGF aka Kolar Gold Fields starring Yash had a short-lived glory at all. The movie, first in recent times to appeal to Hindi moviegoers simultaneously with Kannada ones, earned appreciation from all and performed well on the box office. However, its successful run was interrupted by another political thriller from Karnataka though not on reel but in real.

The political situation in Karnataka is still uncertain with both Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party flexing their muscles.  As usually happens in such situations, the MLA from both parties have been taken away at safe refuges to save them from the rival onslaught. The political air in Karnataka is full of chaos as of now.

BJP accused Congress of trying to lure their MLAs only to be paid back in the same coin by Congress. The latter convened a meeting of its MLAs on Friday. It was left red-faced when four dissident Congress MLAs  skipped the Congress Legislature Party which was touted as the  show of strength in a counter to an alleged bid by the BJP to topple the coalition government in the state. Now, former CM and CLP leader Siddaramaiah has promised us that the party would issue notices to four MLAs seeking explanation from them for their absence at the meeting.

And amidst all these turmoil, CM Kumaraswamy says his government is not in danger. The guy is not just lucky, he has guts too!

The fate of Kumaraswamy government in Karnataka's JDS-Congress government is still hanging on a thin wire. The two independent MLAs have openly severed ties with the government while reports confirm that more Congress MLAs have gone incommunicado.

As per the media reports emerging from Bengaluru, around 11 legislators had gone missing and Congress leadership was unable to contact them. It is said that these legislators could resign from Congress and shift loyalties to BJP.

In the meantime, BJP has taken their MLAs in the safe confines of a hotel in Gurugram.

On Friday, Siddaramaiah briefed the reporters after the CLP meet and said that the issue would be discussed with the party high command and state leaders after receiving the replies from the absentees and then only  decision on next step would be taken. . The absentee MLAs were: Ramesh Jarkiholi, who was dropped as minister in the recent cabinet rejig and is said to be extremely unhappy over it, B Nagendra, Umesh Jadhav and Mahesh Kumatahalli. Of these MLAs, Jadhav from Chincholi, who was aspiring to be a minister, has been spotted with BJP leaders in Delhi. These MLAs are said to be disgruntled over not finding place in the coalition government.

Siddaramaiah said Jadhav had written saying he would not be able to attend the meet as he was unwell, while Nagendra had spoken to AICC general secretary K C Venugopal conveying his inability to attend because of a court case. The other two MLAs had not communicated anything, he said.

All in all, the Kumaraswamy government is in peril as it was since the day one. It was established on a shaky ground. The only footing it had was hatred for Narendra Modi. That was a very delicate ground for any government to run smoothly. Whether BJP is running Operation Lotus or not, a Damocles’ sword would always be handed on the head of Congress-JDS combine. How both the parties overcome this anti-climax will be the real spectacle worth watching.

Friday, January 18, 2019

A Mirage Called Grand Alliance

The attempts by some of the opposition parties to cobble up a grand alliance to fight Bharatiya Janata Party are in full swing. This illusionary preposition swings up every five years or so in the name of fighting communalism and fascism. Earlier they levelled the same charge on Congress and fought shoulder to shoulder with BJP, but when the BJP gathered enough mass and marched ahead on its own, they changed the tone.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was right when he said that that the opposition 'mahagathbandhan' or grand alliance was a club of 'nawabs of negativity' and the only 'glue' of this diverse grouping is its opposition to one man Narendra Modi. They are so driven by their hate towards Modi that they can set aside all their differences and ideologies to form a hastily sewn alliance.
However, the situation has changed a lot since such Fronts came up on political scene in India about 30 years ago. At that time, the people wanted change at any cost and that meant voting in favor of an melange of a smaller parties without a strong and nationwide leadership.
The people today belong to an aspirational society which is politically conscious. It will never buy into this suicidal alternative. This ragbag may come into existence propelled by the egos of the individual parties (no pun intended) but they cannot take the nation where it rightfully belongs in the 21st century. All the players performing in this political circus carry zero credibility; in many places, they are liability than assets. Look at Telugu Desam Party which was battered in the recently concluded Assembly elections in Telangana in spite of forming a front with Congress and Left.
Just last week, Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party entered an alliance for Lok Sabah Poll 2019. They announced that they would fight coming lok Sabha election jointly on seat sharing of 38 each in Uttar Pradesh. And what did they have to say about Congress, which was an ally of SP in UP Assembly election in 2017?
Addressing a joint press conference with Akhilesh Yadav at Lucknow, Mayawati said that Congress is not part of alliance as it is not beneficial in seat winning contrary it creates loss. She said that she is keeping away Lucknow's Guest House incident away in interest of People and country. She said this alliance will continue for a long in future.
Interestingly, one can use the phrase ‘forging an alliance’ in all sense to describe these parties. This proposed 'mahagathbandhan' has neither the ideological cohesiveness nor a common program. They lack leadership and nor any of them has unblemished record. It does not aim at building the country but focuses on maintaining the imaginary halo of their respective leaders. Those who can't even see each other are now joining hands out of the fear for their own survival. More than anything else, their ego will eat each other even if they manage to come closer.