Is Mayawati Playing The Role Of Kingmaker In Karnataka?

Hung assembly in Karnataka is no surprise as most of the exit polls predicted such an outcome. Even in case of a possible coalition, none of the political parties publicly acknowledged any such possible alliance. Even prior to the elections, there was a hint of BJP – JD(S) alliance in one of the pre poll campaigns of PM Narendra Modi.

But he was aware of the reality and quickly changed his tone. Interestingly, the political mandate in Karnataka is divided and in spite of being the single largest party in the state, BJP is still short of 8 MLAs to reach the magic figure.

The biggest twist in this dramatic situation has been the possible alliance between JD(S) and Congress and not BJP. Some political observers were simply taken aback with this development but this is of no surprise when someone like Mayawati is in the scenario.

It is not a big secret that Sonia Gandhi and former Prime Minister HD Devegowda don’t share cordial relations. It goes back to the mid 1990’s when Congress was in rebuilding phase post Sitaram Keshari and Devegowda was at the helm of affairs in national politics with his coalition dharma. Thus even before elections, there was never any discussion between Congress and JD(S) regarding any possible coalition.

Incidentally, Mayawati’s BSP entered into a pre-poll alliance with JD(S) and contested in 20 seats. BSP managed to win one win and the vote share dropped from 1.16% in 2013 to 0.3% this time. Mayawati was well aware of the Dalit vite percentage in the changing circumstances and even addressed four joint rallies with the JD(S) leaders.

As soon as the election mandate indicated a hung assembly, Mayawati directed BSP Rajya Sabha MP Ashok Siddharth to liason a possible alliance between Congress and JD(S). This actually paved the development and helped to break the ice between veteran politicians Sonia Gandhi and HD Devegowda. Previously also BSP helped Congress during floor test in Uttarakhand Assembly. Thus Mayawati deserves the credit for such a unique development which can change the dynamics of national political situation.

In this regard one must also analyse the interest of Mayawati in this development. Mayawati is aiming for a turn around in UP where the party is struggling against Yogi Adityanath’s BJP.

Although BSP has opted for bypoll based alliance with SP, it is next to impossible for her to carry it for long. Mayawati is well aware of her Dalit credentials and thus looking for an alliance with Congress in UP and becoming a central figure in national politics ahead of Lok Sabha Elections scheduled next year. This basically explains the motive of Maywati, the possible kingmaker in Karnataka Election.

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Ranabir Bhattacharyya is a Bengal based writer who concentrates on politics, international relations, economic and social matters