By Nitum Jain:
Dictatorship, theocracy, plutocracy and anarchy. These are the types of governments — a mix of which we call India’s Democracy. The Karnataka issue, we have named it a crisis but there is order in this chaos; the only reason why it seems all jumbled up is because there are several motives floating about and pulling the issue in several different directions.
Bhartiya Janata Party had never held much power in the South; it had generally been a Party more active in the Hindi-belt and thus its stronghold in Karnataka is doubly important. But this government has already been threatened twice recently; first came the issue between the Reddy Brothers, two very influential BJP members, and the Chief Minister B. S. Yeddyurappa; they had revolted against him and had sought a change in leadership. It was quickly brushed under the carpet with help through mediation from the BJP central leadership but now a new one has cropped up to take its place.
The more problematic second issue: Recently 20 MLAs, 15 of the ruling BJP and five independents submitted a letter to Governor, H R Bhardwaj, declaring withdrawal of support which threatened the stability of the maiden BJP government in the South. They are reportedly unhappy over the expansion of the cabinet and the scam issues.
Prior to the withdrawal of the dissidents, the 225-member Assembly was formed by 122 BJP members (including the support of five independents), 28 Janata Dal-Secular (JDS), 73 Congress, 1 independent and the Speaker K G Bopaiah. The numbers dwindled as the rebels withdrew support; the rebellion shook the majority-hold BJP had and the party found itself to be sitting on the knife’s edge. Yeddyurappa went on a sacking spree; four independent MLA’s including, D Sudhakar, Venkataramanappa, Narendra Swamy and Shivaraj Tangadagi faced the fire first and then dissident ministers Balachandra Jarakihole and Anand Asnotikar.
Both ruling and opposition parties tried every way in the book to lure MLAs into their camps. The time period between the withdrawal and the first trust vote saw the dissidents locking themselves in a resort in Goa to avoid pressure, it saw allegations flinging right left and center that it was the opposition that is kept them under lock and key and even that it is paid them to rebel, it also saw Loyals of both sides conspicuously flying in and out of Goa which further fuelled the rumours. Little relief did, however, come BJP’s way when some rebels returned to the saffron folds.
The Governor H R Bhardwaj had immediately asked the CM to seek a trust vote by October 12. Yeddyurappa said he will take the floor test on October 11. The Speaker then issued the notice through the legislature secretariat after the ruling party petitioned to invoke the Anti-Defection Act, 1985 against the rebels.
The Anti-Defection Act says:
A member of a House belonging to any political party will be disqualified for being a member of the House- if he/she has voluntarily given up his membership of such political party; or if he votes or abstains from voting in such House contrary to any direction issued by the political party to which he belongs or by any person or authority authorized by it in this behalf, without obtaining, in either case, the prior permission of such political party, person or authority and such voting or abstention has not been condoned by such political party, person or authority within fifteen days from the date of such voting or abstention.
The vote happened and Yeddyurappa presented his victory.
The Speaker was condemned for disqualifying 16 rebel MLAs and allowing the CM to declare majority in form of a voice vote.
The disqualified MLAs raised hell and they burst into court.
The Governor proposed President’s rule and keeping the assembly in suspended animation citing a constitutional breakdown in the state due to the conduct of the speaker.
The Governor then proclaims the trust vote to be ‘a farce’ and ordered another one. They won the trust vote again today.
Court denies relief to disqualified dissidents and Yeddyurappa confidently accepts the challenge.
If democracy is ever mocked none is more insulting than this; where grown men whom one puts one’s trust on are indecisive about their objectives and political parties that one chooses are ALL unworthy of faith. If the chosen leaders can trade kinship then how akin they feel with the common man is very questionable.
The writer is a Sub-Editor of Youth Ki Awaaz.
Image courtesy: http://yeddyurappa.in/news-and-events/this-is-victory-of-democracy-bs-yeddyurappa/