Everyone loves a conspiracy. The media loves it a little more. No wonder there are so many conspiracy theories around the political situation in Karnataka. If you go by them, every politician in the state — from small-time neta to senior ministers and even those jobless after losing elections — and every party is actively and happily involved in scheming.
And, whatever they do, be it a routine dull speech or grand opening of a small toilet, may seem like a sinister plot, part of a large conspiracy. Now, scheming is what politicians do best. So, the conspiracy theories are as much a product of the prevailing political atmosphere as they are a result of fertile imagination, abetted by politicians through their actions and statements. Here are some of the popular ones.
Conspiracy Theory #1: This ever-running ever-relevant plot suggests that BJP, after failing miserably to grab power despite emerging as the single largest party, is relentlessly working to bring down the JD(S)-Congress coalition ministry. The plan is to make the coalition’s MLAs to resign, if not defect, so that the effective strength of the Assembly comes down, thus helping BJP, with 104 seats, to manage a simple majority. A latest piece of news emerging from the busy speculation factory says party boss Amit Shah has given the state unit time till November to achieve this or forget completely about it till after the Lok Sabha elections. Another says it’s Yeddyurappa, several times bitten but never shy, who is pushing to form the government, apparently feeling that his time is running out.
Conspiracy Theory #2: Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy is busy dismantling his predecessor Siddaramaiah’s legacy, and is being helped in this regard by some seniors Congress leaders — those who have got plum posts in the ministry and see Siddaramaiah as a hurdle for their own growth. Stoppage or mutilation of several of Siddaramaiah’s popular schemes and the fact that he has little say in running the government despite heading the coalition’s coordination committee are cited to support the theory.
This revenge plot has it that Kumaraswamy and father Deve Gowda are keen to cause as much damage as possible to Siddaramaiah’s political career for trying to destroy JD(S) after switching sides in 2006. The appointment of A H Vishwanath, a known Siddaramaiah-baiter and a Kuruba leader like the former CM, as JD(S) Karnataka chief is seen as another indication of this conspiracy.
Conspiracy Theory #3: It’s said Siddaramaiah, feeling sidelined but still the most prominent of all Congress leaders in the state, is occupied with the job of keeping the coalition uneasy at all times. His letters to Kumaraswamy on various issues and statements on the government’s stability apparently indicate how he is not so pleased with the arrangement but is forced to accept the situation by the party. According to the theory, he and his supporters are trudging on with the firm hope that the government will not last beyond general elections and it’ll be their time thereafter.
Conspiracy Theory #4: The BJP’s inability to muster the numbers needed to ensure the survival of the short-lived Yeddyurappa government was more to do with factionalism than the Congress-JD(S) game plan. Some BJP leaders didn’t want him as CM and hence didn’t do enough to manage the numbers. They apparently wanted to sit out till the party was ready to consider anyone other than Yeddyurappa.
Conspiracy Theory #5: This is the most sinister of all. The theory has it that the coalition is aimed at destroying the Congress in Karnataka — a means to aid BJP’s Congress-mukt Bharat programme. It goes like this: A JD(S)-Congress alliance is expected to help the BJP grow in South Karnataka, as a political alternative to the JD(S) and at the expense of the Congress.
It is said the BJP, which already has a strong base in other regions, is taking a little help from the JD(S) to edge out the Congress in the south. If all goes as per plan, the JD(S) may ditch the Congress and align with BJP after parliamentary polls. There are many more, some not worth the space here. These could be just theories or reflective of the ongoing machinations. The situation is such, one can’t find fault with the speculation industry. Moreover, what’s politics without intrigues — real and imagined.
Resident Editor, Karnataka