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A good start for H D Kumaraswamy
M S Dhaan in Bangalore | February 09, 2006 12:54 IST
All's well that ends well? That could, perhaps, sum up the Karnataka assembly session that concluded on Wednesday, after Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy won the trust vote.
While the Janata Dal (Secular)-Bharatiya Janata Party combine could be termed a case of strange bedfellows, they have the numbers that seem to reinforce that they are here to stay. The BJP has 79 MLAs, while 41 MLAs from the JD(S) are supporting Kumaraswamy; this apart, there are five MLAs from the Janata Dal United and five independents. This gives them 130 members in the 224-seat Assembly.
The session on Wednesday lasted 14 hours, with a raging debate about the new coalition government, even about how long it would last! When the voting finally got underway, 138 were for Kumaraswamys' government, 66 against and 19 were absent.
Kumaraswamy, for one, held his own. His maiden statements were indicative of his maturing as a politician. Sober and attentive, he did not lose interest, even into the wee hours of the session. He also promised that he was willing to order any kind of investigation into the land scams in the state.
Kumaraswamy was watched all the more closely by all the members as he was a rookie heading a state headed for mega growth. And many felt that Kumaraswamy had left his predecessor, N Dharam Singh, far behind.
Political observers, who find nothing wrong in the alliance, which was dubbed 'unholy' by the Congress, were also impressed by Kumaraswamy.
"Karnataka could be back on the track to progress. This new coalition has paved way for new political equations in the state. JD(S) ministers who had berths in the Dharam Singh government are now with Kumaraswamy. While everyone doubted if he could gather his supporters together, he has done that. In fact, he's gone one step ahead of his father (H D Deve Gowda) and managed to bring back those who had distanced themselves from him," said one of them.
However, it is clear that this support from Kumaraswamy is also stems from the fact that no one wants to face mid-term polls. So most legislators have chosen to support this new government and will help it last its term.
Right now, therefore, it seems as though everyone is happy. The BJP, which has been waiting to establish a foothold in South India, has finally got one. Kumaraswamy is in hot seat, as he has always dreamt. And the legislators can continue their terms uninterrupted. How long this happy situation lasts remains to be seen, though.
Complete coverage: Karnataka - A coalition's fall