Will BJP Come Up With Operation Lotus 2.0 Form Government In Karnataka?

Karnataka Election: Horse trading is a common term in Indian politics and there have been ample instances when lawmakers have been manipulated for power and in return, they have gone for important portfolios in the government. Not only the independent MLAs or MPs, horse trading is common with members of regional and mainstream parties as well.

The recent Karnataka Election has evoked the possibility of a tight finish where horse-trading doesn’t look like to be a remote possibility. This time around, all the parties namely BJP, Congress and JD(S) are exploring all equations to form a government in the important southern state.

As of now, BJP is still short of 8 MLAs to form a government in Karnataka. In the meantime, the Congress Party had a quick meeting with JD(S) and have apparently agreed to support Kumaraswamy as the new Chief Minister.

Congress and JD(S) coming together in an alliance automatically become eligible to form a government with the number game. In such a scenario, the BJP is also looking at whether they can play a trick in between to make the most of it.

This critical scenario reminds of Operation Lotus after 2008 Assembly Elections when Yeddyurappa literally bought opposition party MLAs with money and power to form a government. In that phase, BJP had poached 20 MLAs from both Congress and JD(S) and made them resign from their Assembly membership and contest bypolls.

Whether BJP js going to repeat the formula again or not is a tricky question. Presently BJP basically requires at least 5-6 opposition MLAs to resign. In that case, the magic figure will get down to 106-108 and BJP will do the best ensure that the candidates win bypolls in favor of the saffron outfit.

There is no denying the reality that losing Karnataka can be detrimental to BJP’s chances in Southern states in Lok Sabha Elections scheduled next. Side by side, BJP cannot do anything that will tarnish the image of the party in the national fold.

Thus it is indeed a dilemma and it would be interesting to see how do Yeddyurappa and other senior BJP leaders in Karnataka tackle this scenario in favor of the saffron outfit.

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