The winner is ……Spirit of democracy

Democratic spirit has prevailed. The Karnataka episode has shown new door to the opposition parties. It taught a lesson to BJP which sought to grab power, without caring for the public mandate. It was an unprecedented development wherein all forces came together to stop Modi, who had emerged as the most powerful leader in the country. It paved the way for a strategy to stop BJP in 2019 elections. The national and regional parties succeeded in putting forth their argument before the Supreme Court. The dreams of Modi and Amit Shah to repeat north India in south were all shattered. It gave breather to main opposition party Congress and reassurance to regional parties. By creating suspense for two to three days, it jolted the lovers of democracy. But ultimately the spirit of Indian democracy emerged victorious.

Assuming national importance, this election made it clear that it was a fight between Modi and the rest. It is significant that from Mamata Banerjee to Chandrababu Naidu, all extended moral support to Congress and JD (S). Due to the tactical error of BJP, almost all parties in the country were mentally prepared to join hands against BJP. This trend will create many difficulties for BJP in 2019 elections. Modi government had already earned people’s wrath through policies like demonetization and GST. The Karnataka outcome shows that Modi government will face strong opposition in future. This election also underlined the need to evolve a strategy to check BJP which has mastered the art of poll management right from booth level. It highlighted the need to not just unite the opposition but also organize every vote polled against BJP. The opposition parties have the responsibility to understand this in its right perspective. Karnataka result has given them clear message that if they unite they will win and if they part ways they will bite the dust.

The patience, initiative and democratic spirit displayed by Congress party need to be appreciated. Congress party which ruled the country for 60 years wanted to play the role of big brother in this era of coalition governments. As a result it lost power in states like Goa, Manipur and Meghalaya. Despite winning majority seats,  it was humbled. It adopted a different strategy in Karnataka. Congress took the initiative and gave a chance to JD (S) which did not win even half the seats bagged by it. It realized that it has to come down to defeat the main rival. Congress took the initiative treating it as not mere the state assembly elections of Karnataka but as its future till 2019 elections. The fighting spirit displayed by Congress was never shown by the party in the past. Using the services of all its national leaders, it launched a legal battle on one side while on the other it shielded its MLAs from horse trading. This was the trend in BJP after Modi and Amit Shah took the leadership. They consider every election as prestigious and somehow win it. They don’t give up till last minute. Congress showed the same character to achieve victory in Karnataka.

The misuse of governors by the parties in power at the Centre is continuing unabated. Timely intervention by the Supreme Court ensured justice in Karnataka. Democracy has won. However, the country has to go through anxiety for some days. It caused agitation and distress. There are many instances of minority parties forming governments by luring MLA from other parties, taking advantage of the undue favour shown by governors. BJP played mind game in Karnataka with the same hopes. When the Supreme Court reduced the time given by the govrenor, the government collapsed. This brought opposition parties together. In the past too when governors took wrong decisions, the courts intervened to do justice. In 1998 Kalyan Singh-Jagdambika Pal episode in Uttar Pradesh, 2005 Shibhu Soren-Arjun Munda episode in Jharkhand and more recently in case of Harish Rawat in Uttarakhand in 2016, governors through their biased use of their powers ridiculed the democracy. The intervention of judiciary ensured justice in these instances. The central government became busy in gradually bringing the judiciary under its control. In this context, there is a need to lay down clear guidelines for the governors to follow while taking key decisions.

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