Bengaluru was pouring as early as 2:15 PM on the 25th of May. The nostalgia was in the air. It had been ages since I saw a beautiful summer afternoon in Bengaluru, a childhood memory of the Old Bengaluru. Amidst the Silicon Valley of India, somewhere the Garden City was lost. Did anyone imagine that it would be Bengaluru which was witnessing dirty politics and finally a floor test where the mandate was insulted? Now you might say, Kamath don’t get political. No I am not. On the 25th of May, I winded up my work very quickly and dropped in at home by 2:30 PM getting partially drenched in the rain. Holding my lunch plate, I turned on the Television. The Kannada News Channels were beaming the live telecast of the proposed floor test moved by the Honourable Chief Minister of Karnataka. The Leader of the Opposition (B S Yeddyurappa) was delivering his address, which showed prowess of the leader as an able speaker with good understanding of sarcasm, wit and rhetoric. During the speech, I wondered. How the single largest party (Bhartiya Janta Party) was sitting in the opposition while the other two parties went on to form the government in Karnataka. Was it not an insult to the people of Karnataka? The Leader of the Opposition (B S Yeddyurappa) did state that he committed a mistake in 2006 by allying with the regional political party (Janta Dal (Secular)). That means that even the incumbent Opposition of Karnataka (Bhartiya Janta Party) insulted the mandate of the people in a hung assembly (though the numbers were different), but the situation wasn’t. But then, a post-poll alliance made sense as political parties had comparable numbers.
Now you might think that I dug my own grave by stating that the incumbent opposition of Karnataka (Bhartiya Janta Party) insulted a mandate, so the current coalition isn’t doing something that is not unethical. The way the Mahabharata was fought when each side committed equal amount of sins during the war. This is what the arm-chair experts would say. I have an opinion depending on the pulse of the ground. I recently visited Dakshin Karnataka for completing some necessary formalities. For starters, Dakshin Karnataka or well-known as Coastal Karnataka has been a victim of communal violence on both major religious followers in the region instigated by some un-holy elements. The previous government (Indian National Congress) did not pay heed to sort the issue rather supported a particular outfit in a biased manner. The people out-rightly rejected the previous government giving a massive mandate of 16 out of 19 seats to the current Opposition (Bhartiya Janta Party). Udupi, Kodagu and Mangalore, one of the major impacted regions due to the policies of the previous government (Indian National Congress) gave a landslide victory to the current Opposition (Bhartiya Janta Party). Due to other reasons in Central Karnataka and Mumbai-Karnataka, the people of these regions also gave a thumbing majority to the Bhartiya Janta Party. For starters, Karnataka is broadly classified into six regions namely
- Bengaluru Urban
- Coastal Karnataka
- Central Karnataka
- Old Mysore
Indian National Congress is leading in two regions or rather I would say one region which is the Hyderabad-Karnataka region while the Jantha Dal (Secular) is leading in one region, the Old Mysore region. While Bengaluru Urban wasn’t a perfect mandate in favour of a political party, this shows that 3 out of 5 regions had given a victory to the Bhartiya Janta Party. According to the current election format in India, more than vote-share, vote conversion to seats is important which the Bhartiya Janta Party has been able to do in 3 regions.
Do you know what the people are saying in other regions of Karnataka? The government in Bengaluru is formed by the dominance of the Gowda’s and the Indian National Congress, which doesn’t respect us. The lone MLA from Mangalore of the Indian National Congress would get a ministerial berth, despite being a mandate which people rejected. How does it feel to the Kodavas and the Tulu Nadu folks in Coastal Karnataka? Very disgusting. The government we rejected for our survival is back in power. This would surely spark demands, which are against the fabric of the current nature of Karnataka. A Mandate was insulted. Our election system has to be reformed. How? Now that is the right question. Let us get back to Yeddyurappa’s speech on the 25th of May. I don’t bring in points without the need of it. He spoke about loan waiver for the farmers. The most affected region for farmers is the Old Mysore Region which is the political bastion of the Janta Dal (Secular). He raked up the issue and stated that the Bhartiya Janta Party would protest against the government if it doesn’t waive off the loans. Now let us take issues in other regions. Had we leaders of each region say something of a concept of Deputy Chief Minister Level of a post to each political party within the state for the region where they won a thumping majority, each region’s issues would be brought up in the Vidhana Souda. This would have a leader from each region (so therefore 6 leaders in total) who would listen to the people’s voice and are happy that atleast their mandate is respected. We could discuss this in the comments section.
Whom to blame? Our beloved politicians and the people themselves. Politicians who spoke against each other in the campaign are together. Some politicians, who currently blame the incumbent government, once were good friends for power. They forgot the bloody fact that people voted them into power, they should respect their choice. Couldn’t these politicians vote for electoral reforms? Keep simultaneous elections aside, has there been any other concept evolved which would respect the representation of people from each region and their views? None. We must blame ourselves for voting them to power. Our vote should be for the right cause. Else our vote actually doesn’t have any value. I seriously doubt it. We would like the Prime Minister or the Chief Minister of Karnataka to answer this question for me. I hope they do it for us.
A Common Man
If we are meeting for the first time, I am Shashank Kamath. A passionate Engineer, am set to pursue my management studies in a 40-year legacy top B-School in India. I write about, almost everything. Follow me to get blog updates and subscribe to avail free-ebooks designed specifically for you.