“BJP has dishonored the office of the Governor and denigrated the constitutional process in democracy in their incessant appetite to grab power at any cost,” said George Abraham, Vice-Chairman of the Indian Overseas Congress, USA. “Unless the people of India recognize the corrosive effect of their actions on institutions they hold dear, the Secular Democracy as we know it could be soon history” Mr. Abraham added.
Karnataka Governor, Vajubhai Vala, a former Finance Minister under Modi in Gujarat has done a disservice to the nation by not inviting the Congress-JD(S) combine to form the Government. Although it is a post-poll alliance, it is quite evident that they have secured the simple majority that is necessary to claim the right to form the Government. On the other hand, BJP which is short of 8 MLAs might only succeed in their efforts, if they could engage in poaching or horse trading, which is illegal and at the minimum violates the spirit of the constitution.
By swearing in BJP leader B.S. Yeddyurappa as the next Chief Minister, the Governor appears to have implicitly sanctioned illegal activities that may be already taking place behind the scenes. Janata Dal (S) leader HD Kumaraswamy alleged that Anand Singh, MLA is put under enormous pressure to defect. “Modi government is misusing institutions of the central government. I know they are threatening MLAs. A Congress MLA told me Anand Singh called him and told him ‘they are using ED (Enforcement Directorate), I had a case in ED, and they are going to screw me. I’m sorry I have to protect my interest’,” Mr. Kumaraswamy said, quoting Anand Singh. Previously, he had alleged that Rs. 100 crore and cabinet positions were being offered to his lawmakers”.
Earlier, in a press briefing, Congress leader P. Chidambaram said the numbers of the Congress party and the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) established that the alliance had a majority in the Karnataka legislature. “The Governor, who is an exalted constitutional office, should not walk on a perilous path which is illegal,” Chidambaram said.
Rahul Gandhi, the President of Congress Party, has also weighed in on the fast-moving developments in Karnataka. : “The BJP’s irrational insistence that it will form a Govt. in Karnataka, even though it clearly doesn’t have the numbers, is to make a mockery of our Constitution. This morning, while the BJP celebrates its hollow victory, India will mourn the defeat of democracy”.
Congress Party may also partly to bear the responsibility for this debacle as their over-confidence bordering on arrogance by Siddaramaiya, the former Chief Minister, might have prevented them from forming a pre-poll alliance with Janata Dal (S). It should be noted that although Congress won only 78 seats, its vote-share (38%) was higher than that of BJP’s (36%). And combined with JD (S), the anti-BJP vote share amounts to 56% and thereby nullifies the argument that they have some mandate to govern for next five years.