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'The 3 days after Kumaraswamy takes the oath will be crucial'

By Prasanna D Zore
May 23, 2018 08:12 IST
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'If Shivakumar and Deve Gowda play the match well, this government will complete five years.'

IMAGE: Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, third from left, greets Janata Dal-Secular President H D Deve Gowda, second from left, and Karnataka chief minister-designate H D Kumaraswamy, third from right. Photograph: PTI Photo

Will the Congress-Janata Dal-Secular coalition government in Karnataka last?

"In politics there is a slogan: No enemy, no relation (neither enmity nor good relations matter in politics). They (the JD-S and Congress) want power, that's all that matters," Dr Veenadevi, professor, department of political science, Bangalore University, tells's Prasanna D Zore.


What do the hung House and the alliance between the JD-S and Congress portend for Karnataka for the next five years and the general election next year?

Given the present situation the JD-S-Congress (government) can complete the five-year term.

But the three days after H D Kumaraswamy takes the oath will be crucial to the relationship.

I think if they sail through, then a pre-poll alliance between the JD-S-Congress for the next Lok Sabha election becomes a real possibility.

Given their differences do you think they can cobble together a pre-poll alliance for the 2019 general election?

The fact that so many heads of various regional parties will attend Kumaraswamy's oath taking ceremony is hint enough that all such differences, fundamental or otherwise, will be ironed out in the course of the year and the two partners will form a pre-poll alliance to fight the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party).

In case such an alliance takes place, how will the BJP, which currently has 17 MPs from Karnataka, fare in 2019?

Out of 28 seats, I think the Congress-JD-S combine can reach (win) 22 to 24 seats if they form a pre-poll alliance in Karnataka.

But for that a pre-poll alliance is a must and in that event the vote arithmetic will work in their favour.

Both the Congress and the BJP claim victory based on numbers that suit them.
While the Congress brags about winning a higher percentage of Karnataka voters, the BJP smugly claims it has emerged as the single largest party with 104 MLAs.
How do you look at these two measures as a sign of voters' trust?

Different parts of Karnataka have voted in favour of different parties.

In Hyderabad-Karnataka and Bombay-Karnataka (regions), the majority of Lingayats voted in favour of the BJP.

The victories in these two regions and coastal Karnataka helped the BJP reap a dividend of 104 seats.

But the voting percentage on the basis of various castes shows that the Congress is a clear winner.

The Congress MLAs are an ideal mix of STs, SCs, Christians, Muslims and OBCs.

Which issue will become the most contentious as the coalition government begins to transact business?

All parties have their fundamental differences with parties they form an alliance with. So, there is nothing new there.

Maybe the issue of separate religion for Lingayats and Veerashaivas could become a bit contentious in the days ahead.

How will the difference between the Lingayats and Vokkaligas play out in the days ahead given that the chief minister will be a Vokkaliga?

In the new coalition, D K Shivakumar, the popular Vokkaliga Congress leader, and H D Deve Gowda will be the main players.

Both are Vokkaligas and they will ensure that the JD-S-Congress government will last its term.

The hung verdict will make sure that they chart out a common minimum programme and make good decisions for the people of Karnataka.

If Shivakumar and Deve Gowda are the captains of the ship and if they play the match well, this government will complete five years.

There are reports that Deve Gowda did not want Shivakumar in the government given their famous rivalry over influencing the Vokkaligas...

In politics there is a slogan: No enemy, no relation (Neither enmity nor good relations matter in politics). They (the JD-S and Congress) want power, that's all that matters.

Without Shivakumar in the government, do you think it will fall apart?

Without him, this alliance won't last longer, so his presence in the government is inevitable.

If you are talking about the rivalry between Shivakumar and Deve Gowda, then remember that outgoing chief minister Siddaramaiah and Deve Gowda are also bitter enemies and yet they have come together to form a government.

Will the BJP's inability to form a government be a big setback in the Lok Sabha election as it wanted a springboard in the south to expand its footprint in the region?

The BJP is the biggest loser in this hung verdict in Karnataka.

It has ruined its chances of launching its southern campaign to expand its political and electoral footprint in south India.

Had the BJP formed a government in the state, the Lok Sabha picture next year would have changed dramatically.

Narendra Modi arranged huge rallies in the 15 days before polls and yet his party could not cross the simple majority mark. In this context, would you say the Modi blitzkrieg failed to inspire voters in the state?

I would say the Modi wave was visible in just two regions: Hyderabad-Karnataka and Bombay-Karnataka.

The BJP already has a solid grounding in the coastal areas. But the Modi wave had no impact in old Mysuru or Bangalore.

Modi wasn't a factor for voters across the state.

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Prasanna D Zore /