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Karnataka 2018: Strongest Opposition vs weakest leading party

May 22, 2018 08:46 IST

With 103 members belonging to the BJP, the Karnataka assembly will witness a balance it has never seen, points out Abhishek Waghmare.

Janata Dal-Secular leader H D Kumaraswamy with Congress leaders Sonia and Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi, May 21, 2018. Photograph: Manvender Vashist/PTI Photo

IMAGE: Janata Dal-Secular leader H D Kumaraswamy with Congress leaders Sonia and Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi, May 21, 2018. Photograph: Manvender Vashist/PTI Photo

However bitter-sweet the post-election victory or defeat is, beyond politics, at the core, lies the Constitution.

And the Opposition, though it is not a part of the executive, it is an important institution in parliamentary democracy under the aegis of it. And it does influence and impact the executive in ways more than one.

 

With 103 members belonging to the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Karnataka legislative assembly will witness a balance it has never seen.

The leader of the Opposition, whoever it will be, will be supported by an unprecedented number of legislators.

Till now, since the first election to the newly formed Mysuru state in 1957 (renamed as Karnataka only later in 1973), the Ramkrishna Hegde government of the Janata Party had the strongest opposition of 82 Congress members in the lower House of the bicameral legislature.

Karnataka's legislative assemblies represent the larger political phenomenon of emergence of non-Congress parties in years after Indira Gandhi took over.

In the state assembly, the chief minister's contingent was the strongest immediately post-Independence, while it would be weakest in the 15th assembly post 2018.

The Opposition was the weakest then, but is the strongest today.

Though a supporting party had a better strength than the CM's party in 2004 for a brief period, the Congress with 78 members in this assembly is the strongest supporting party in the Karnataka assembly ever.

ASSEMBLY GOVERNMENT OPPOSITION
Year of Election Assembly Party Strength Party Strength
1957 2nd Congress 150 Praja Socialist Party 18
1962 3rd Congress 138 Praja Socialist Party 20
1967 4th Congress 126 Praja Socialist Party 20
1972 5th Congress 165 Congress (Org) 24
1978 6th Congress (Indira) 149 Janata Party 59
1983 7th Janata Party 95 Congress 82
1985 8th Janata Party 139 Congress 65
1989 9th Congress 165 Janata Dal 24
1994 10th Janata Dal 115 BJP 40
1999 11th Congress 132 BJP 44
2004 (A) 12th Congress 65 BJP 79
2004 (B) 12th Janata Dal-Secular 58 BJP 79
2004 (C) 12th BJP 79 Congress 65
2008 13th BJP 110 Congress 80
2013 14th Congress 122 BJP 40
2018 15th Janata Dal-Secular 37 BJP 104
Abhishek Waghmare
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