Congress, JD(S) forget hostility to defeat ‘lax’ BJP

Jaswinder Singh Baidwan

Akhran da mureed
Staff member
It is often said – and demonstrated even more often – that in politics there are no permanent enemies. The BJP in Karnataka, which boasts of several senior leaders, including Union Chemical and Fertilisers Minister Ananth Kumar, had kept its eyes closed to this reality as the results of the mayoral election for the BBMP showed.
Despite having won the elections for the Bengaluru city civic body held on August 22, the BJP had to concede defeat to Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) combine in the elections for the posts of mayor and deputy mayor of BBMP (Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagar Palike) held on Friday.
The BJP, after having secured majority in the BBMP (having won 100 of the 198 wards in the elections), was apparently taking it easy. The party leadership was of the view that given the strong mutual hostility between JD (S) supremo HD Deve Gowda and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah of the Congress, the two parties would never join hands.
It was after a bitter falling out with the former Prime Minister Gowda that Siddaramaiah left the JD (S) in 2006 and joined the Congress. Gowda had made it clear to Siddaramaiah that he would not be made the Chief Minister if the JD(S) headed the government in Karnataka. Siddaramaiah finally got the coveted office in 2013 and since then he has never missed an opportunity to make a dig at Gowda who also has responded in kind.
However, the two leaders buried the hatchet and decided to unite against the BJP in the BBMP mayoral poll. While the Congress won the post of mayor, the JD(S) got the post of deputy mayor as the combine took control of the city civic body.
The Karnataka Municipal Act, 1976, allows all people’s representatives who fall within BBMP limits – Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MPs, MLAs and MLCs – to also vote in the mayoral poll along with the newly elected corporators. The total number of council members eligible for voting had, thus, become 260, and the number required for a simple majority was 131. The BJP, which was initially complacent and did not try to win over the seven Independent corporators, watched helplessly as it found itself short of three votes.
Whether the bonhomie between the JD(S) and Congress extends to fora other than the BBMP is unclear. What can be said with certainty is that it will cast a shadow on the relationships between BJP and the JD(S).
The two opposition parties have worked in tandem in the state legislature to attack the Congress on several issues such as illegal lottery, unnatural death of IAS officer DK?Ravi, corruption in the institution of the Lokayukta and the likes.