The ongoing series of Indian Premier League (IPL) has been exciting this year. But the results of the 2018 Karnataka Assembly elections might have drowned the excitement for the IPL.
On the night of Wednesday, May 16, the Governor of Karnataka invited BJP’s BS Yeddyurappa to form the government. He took the oath as Chief Minister on Thursday and has to prove his party’s majority within 15 days.
The BJP, which is going to form the government, has 104 seats and is the single largest party. But the post-poll coalition of JD(s)-Congress has 117 seats. The magic figure in Karnataka to claim the majority is 113 which means the BJP fell short by 9 seats.
To prove the majority in the assembly, the BJP needs 9 more seats and this is what has prompted the allegations of ‘horse-trading’. Let’s discuss what it is all about.
1) The horses are the MLAs.
Let’s be very clear that there is no real horse in this business. The MLAs are the horses and the political parties will use money and power to break them from other parties and include them in their own party to achieve the magic figure.
2) This business is not always conducted with cash.
The purchase of MLAs does not happen the same way you buy a packet of Maggi from the store. The transaction here is not always through cash but also through benefits like shares of companies, lands, houses and other items.
3) Horse trading is not illegal.
Well, it’s unfortunate but MLAs are not drugs so you can buy one. There is no law in the Constitution which objects to buying of MLAs by any means.
4) It’s all about black money.
You guessed it right. The monetary transaction that usually takes place during horse trading is done through black money. The huge amounts that are paid usually come from different sources.
5) The key players are the corporates.
The money here usually does not come from the pocket of any minister or MLA directly. The big corporate groups spend this money and give it to the parties involved in the trade. It’s a give-and-take backdoor business.
6) MLAs do not necessarily join the party in question.
In the horse-trading process, it is not necessary that the MLAs of JD(s)-Congress coalition will join the BJP. But the main issue is at the time of the floor test, the coalition may not have the majority number. Which means that if 9 MLAs of the coalition are absent on the day of the floor test, then it’s a successful test.
7) It’s not a one-party business.
Do not think that horse trading involves only one political party which is trying to prove its majority. The trade can happen the other way round too. In fact, the MLAs can negotiate with their own party to not get traded and ask for position or money.
8) Karnataka is not the first state to have ‘horse-trading’.
It is an old business and happens during every election. The purchase of MLAs to prove a majority has happened earlier in various cases and has been done by various parties.
9) The JD(s)-Congress coalition may not be clean either.
The JD(s)-Congress coalition is a post-poll one. There may be monetary transactions involved in such cases too.
10) The Indian political system is the key factor behind ‘horse-trading’.
It’s not about a state or a party. The whole polticial system in India is the reason behind such business. Politics and power in India depend on money and that’s why such cases occur.