What happens in Goa stays in Goa?

On top of the Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru is the etched line, “Governments work is God’s work”!

When I see the way election results of Karnataka elections 2018 has rolled in, and the machinations that have followed, I cannot but help say that “Government formation is going to be God’s work” as well!

The elections are over, but long live the elections really. This will go on. What seems certain seems to be the fact that the fractured mandate churned up in the elections has bonded the opposition in Karnataka together with the glue of power. And that glue is quite a glue really!

What this means is that two parties that fought the elections opposed to one another will combine their seats to lay a stake to rule. While that is an important point in itself, the politics of expediency is here in Karnataka once again. In their own language, “the secular forces are together”! And how!

Just as the BJP was celebrating an impending victory with laddoos being distributed, there was a ceasefire of celebration. Even though the BJP emerges the single largest party, a combine of the JD(S) and the Congress will rule! The idea seems clear. Keep the BJP out of governance. Exciting, though not totally palatable developments from a purists point of view. But then, prudent and practical politics is not even a distant cousin of pure politics. The ‘Nataka’ of Karnataka politics is playing out once again. I do believe that in many ways, this fractured mandate has bonded the Congress and the JD(S) together, not only in this governance pact for Karnataka, but will also play out as a game plan for the Lok Sabha Elections 2019. And there runs another long story of possibilities.

The fact remains that when opposition unity is attempted and established, there is always a challenge to the BJP, as we did see in the two by-election wins in UP. To an extent, this forced bonding of the opposition parties in Karnataka just might to lead to a new strategy of cooperation or competition ahead for the Lok Sabha Elections 2019.

If you peek into the vote shares of the three prime parties in Karnataka, one fact is clear. When you combine the vote share of the Congress and the JD(S) together, there is a story that is larger than life. But yes, the key question is, if it was all that simple, why did the two parties not combine their efforts in a pre-poll alliance rather than a forced bonding post elections.

I have been sitting in a television studio all of yesterday from 6 am and the election just concluded has gone into the final slog overs. To the wire. With an excitement unravelling every half hour. I do believe the game has just begun. Expect every action with an action that is matched by a reaction. Let’s wait and watch.

This has happened in Manipur. This has happened in Meghalaya. This has happened in Bihar. This has happened in Goa. I thought what happens in Goa stays in Goa, but I am wrong. It happens in Karnataka as well! Ouch!

The writer is a founder, of Harish Bijoor Consults Inc.

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