MICHAEL VAZ, MERCES
IN one of the most hotly contested elections in the recent times, the all-pervading BJP stole the limelight in Karnataka winning in 104 constituencies but still falling short of nine seats to reach the coveted figure of 112 in an assembly of 224 seats. It’s not just being the single largest party in the state but its tally has shot up by more than two-and-half times, as it had won only 40 seats in 2013. That apart its vote share has also surged by almost double. Interestingly, though the vote share of the Congress has marginally increased and in fact it has polled the highest votes, even more than the BJP by almost 2 per cent, its seat tally has gone down drastically. Let us recall that prior to the elections almost all the news channels and the surveys conducted therein and also the political analysts had predicted a hung assembly, with a tough contest between the BJP and the Congress, and everyone had foreseen that the Janata Dal-Secular led by the former prime minister H D Deve Gowda would be the kingmaker in government formation. The forecast has come true! The JD-S, which has won 37 seats, has pledged to form an alliance with the Congress, arguably its sworn enemy, to form the government, with H D Kumaraswamy the son of Deve Gowda to be the next chief minister. Voices are being raised in the political circles that this is an unholy alliance. But let me ask: is there anything like holy and unholy in politics? We are adapted to listening that there are no permanent friends and foes in politics, which only boils down to say that politics is a dirty game. Government formation is a matter of getting the required numbers of elected members. This has happened several times in the past and memories of the 2017 assembly elections in Goa are fresh in our minds, wherein the Congress despite being the single largest party was found dillydallying and meanwhile the BJP garnering the support of other regional groups marched to the Governor’s office to form the government. In Karnataka, the BJP approached the Governor on the merit that it is the single largest party and legal luminaries like Soli Sorabjee felt that the Governor was duty bound to invite it for government formation and to prove its majority on the floor of the assembly within a timeframe.