Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy’s penchant for drama is well known. But as the saying goes, one can fool some people for some time and all the people for some time but one can’t fool all the people for all times.
The people of Karnataka have seen through his tantrums by and large, yet there are the gullible ones who get moved by his tears.
Kumaraswamy’s statement recently before party workers that he was not happy with the coalition arrangement with the Congress but was swallowing the pain “like Vishakanta” (Lord Shiva who, as the ancient tale goes, swallowed poison to save the world), was one of his hypocritical theatrical statements.
That he made the statement with tears in his eyes contributed to the effect that he intended to make on his voters.
He said what he had sought from the people was not to be made chief minister but to be in a position to solve the problems of the people of the state. This was sheer hypocrisy from a person who has had the reputation of being a chameleon and an opportunist to the core.
Only a few days earlier when his party the Janata Dal (S) had won only 37 of the 224 seats at stake in the Karnataka assembly while his newfound partner the Congress bagged 80, he was on record as having said that he did not owe his sitting on the saddle to the people but to the Congress party.
Now, Kumaraswamy reckons that the coalition with the Congress may not last too long, (a leaked videotape of Congress leader and former chief minister Siddaramaiah talking to party workers pointed to that possibility) contrary to his claim that his government would run its full five-year term. If a fresh poll gets necessitated, he apparently believes that he must seem to be a messiah of the people working selflessly for their welfare.
His claim that he is committed to fulfill the unfinished agenda of his father (former prime minister Deve Gowda) to solve the problems of farmers, workers and labourers was an emotional pitch to show how dutiful he was.
Undeniably, the Congress has been applying pressure on him as it did before he presented his first budget recently. The burden of his predecessor Siddaramaiahâ€™s stand was that since he had already partially waived farm loans, why should Kumaraswamy announce another farm loan waiver.
The Congress fear was that he was wooing the farmers to wrench them away from Siddaâ€™s party.
Kumaraswamyâ€™s tantrum before party workers that he was single-handedly enduring the pain of coalition rule drew a sharp rebuff from senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge that he was sending out a wrong message to the people.
â€œYou have to face the problems. Such statements will not give a good message to people who supported secular parties. Kumaraswamy should be courageous,â€ Kharge said in response.
Congress MLA D Sudhakar said Kumaraswamy should be grateful to the Congress for making him the chief minister. â€œCongress has given â€˜amruthaâ€™ (nectar) to Kumaraswamy, not poison. There is no need for Kumaraswamy to shed tears. As the representative of 6.5 crore people, he should be wiping the tears of the people, instead,â€ he said.
And so the power games go on, with the BJP adding its bit to them. While the Congress is wary of Kumaraswamyâ€™s attempts to seek to woo vote banks, the BJP is at the old game of winning over a substantial number of disgruntled legislators from the Congress and the JD (S) to its side to try and form an alternative government.
All in all, the Congress-JD (S) government outwitting the BJP in forming a government in Karnataka after the elections is not the last word of the stateâ€™s wobbly politics. The machinations are continuing and there is more drama in store.