Even in the present atmosphere of general awareness at its lowest, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s defeat in the Karnataka assembly polls was expected, thanks to the scams and intra-party feuds. BJP’s defeat was Congress’ gain as there was no sound alternative before the electorate. The Congress emerged triumphant with 121 seats, a clear majority.
For the people of Karnataka, the choice was — a fragmented BJP, a failed Janta Dal (United) or a Congress with a similar story. While the BJP reign was riddled with the mining scam and the revolt by former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa, JD(U) had nothing new to offer under the present leadership of HD Kumaraswami.
A decade ago, BJP was nowhere near the seat of power as the political battles were between the JD(U) and the Congress. It was JD(U) that offered a wave of sympathy in favour of the BJP when it declined to offer CM’s post to the BJP despite a power-sharing formula between the two.
The public sentiment went in favour of the BJP and Yeddyurappa’s efforts paid off. But what followed was mining barons the Reddy brothers’ control over state politics. The party did its best to skirt the scam but voters had had enough. The outcome was a forgone conclusion.
But having said that, what have the people gained by electing a Congress government again? In our democracy, it is either the Congress or the BJP, as other national-level parties and regional satraps lack vision to fulfill people’s aspirations.
In the glaring absence of a viable alternative — a new political party — people are certain to vote for either A or B, which is rather pathetic for the future of a nation.