The mandate of Karnataka 2018 is out.
For the BJP, it is the case of so near, so far; with 8-9 seats missing to the majority.
For the Congress, it is a moral victory that they have managed to keep BJP away from the majority of its own, though it is a different matter that they lost their own Government.
For the JDS, as long as no party makes a Government on its own, they win.
I propose that for the party – be it either the BJP or the Congress to do well in India 2019, they should sacrifice Karnataka 2018. The reasons:
The moral high-ground: The BJP cannot form the Government unless it breaks off the Congress or JDS MLAs. They do so, and the BJP gets labelled as the party hungry for power, by hook or by crook.
Congress supporting JDS or vice-versa, BJP can portray them as traitors to the voters, who did not want either of them.
In simple terms, you get to play the victim card to the country, get the sympathy of the voters nationally and thrash the day-light out of the party in power in Karnataka.
Just that, moral high-ground is a near-extinction commodity in Indian politics, if not extinct already.
Lose Karnataka 2018, Win Karnataka back in 2019: The party doing the buy-sell of MLAs will come to power in Karnataka for the time being, but it will be tough to retain power with no guaranteed loyalty of these MLAs to any party.
More so, the opposition party in Karnataka will come to power nationally in 2019, can engineer another round of defections in the State to their account this time around and get back Karnataka.
Just that, far-sightedness of a year is a near-extinction commodity in Indian politics, if not extinct already.
The Governance in Karnakata: With the BJP – Yeddyurappa, Reddy brothers, Sriramulu back in power after 7 years, that is if the BJP forms Government, and this being the last election of Yeddyurappa, they will be back to doing what they do best.
Similarly, if JDS forms the Government, they will be doing so after a gap of 11 years. Knowing very well that the privilege may not last long, they will want to make the most of it, at the earliest.
Same for Congress, if they become a part of the Government. As they will be without any liability to get back to power, as they have anyways have been voted to get out of power.
In short, the Governance in Karnataka can be termed as stand-still till national elections in 2019, no matter which party forms the Government.
Just that, the public governance by politicians is a near-extinction commodity in Indian politics, if not extinct already.
Amit Shah – Goa, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh etc: Amit Shah has taken away States from Congress with people glossing over what has transpired. But Karnataka is a bit too big to get swept below the carpet for what he will have to do to get Yeddyurappa to power. And he cannot even trust this guy beyond a point.
Is it worth the risk?
Rahul Gandhi – Congress: Even with double the seats to JDS, if Congress allows the JDS to be in the driver seat in Karnataka, the wily Mamata, Mayawati, the Yadav Brigade of UP and Bihar and Sitaram Yechury are going to take them for a ride in national elections.
Congress will come out a loser on all fronts if they let JDS get away with it. Similar to what they have become in Telangana and Andhra, even after making them 2 States.
In nutshell, it is a good strategy to give up Karnakata in 2018, for the larger reward of India 2019.