Congress-JD(S) coalition will last at least till 2019, feel political experts

Experts believe that the coalition will be a game changer - especially in terms of national politics.

Published: 20th May 2018 04:48 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th May 2018 04:48 AM   |  A+A-

Experts believe that the coalition will be a game changer — especially in terms of national politics. | PTI

By Express News Service

BENGALURU:How long will the Congress-JD(S) coalition, stitched up after no party gained an absolute majority in the recently held Assembly elections, survive? Will the quest for powerful ministerial berths and other aspirations jeopardise the coalition? Even after the coalition managed to ensure enough numbers in Legislative Assembly on Saturday, such questions have remained answered. Experts believe that the coalition will be a game changer — especially in terms of national politics.

However, they are divided over the duration of the alliance between the two parties who are bitter rivals in Karnataka and have had a forgettable experience as coalition partners.

Sandeep Shastri, political scientist and pro vice-chancellor of Jain University, says the coalition will last until the Lok Sabha elections are over. "However, soon after the Lok Sabha polls are over, the two parties are likely to face some problems and have skirmishes at regular intervals," he adds.

He, however, feels that it was an important test for both the political parties. "How the two parties succeed in contesting elections, provided they contest together as an alliance and how they perform in 2019 will be important for the coalition to continue," he says.

To a question on the past alliance between the two, he says that the coalition of 2004 — with Congress' Dharam Singh as Chief Minister — was completely different from the one today. "Both the coalitions are completely different and were formed under different political circumstances," he adds.

Expressing difficulties over predicting the tenure of the coalition, Muzaffar Assadi, professor of Political Science, University of Mysore, says that there were chances that the coalition might survive longer than expected by many. "JD(S) and Congress are ideologically compatible and there is a possibility that the alliance will survive for long. It will be more important for Congress as it has to plan for similar alliances ahead of 2019 polls," he says.

Noting that the coalition will have a coordination committee, he expects it to survive beyond 2019. "It might collapse after 2020, as some Congress leaders may go frustrated with the decisions of the coalition government and start bickering," Assadi says. "If the coalition doesn't continue, both the parties will face an existential threat in Karnataka," he adds.

Model coalition

Political scientist Harish Ramaswamy, who opines that the coalition has a future, said that it could be a model for other states, if they perform well. "If Congress accepts such a position in the coalition, where one party concedes and dominates the other, it can result in more alliances," he notes.

Congress has conceded only to keep BJP out. The alliance will send a message at the national level that Congress has given up the seniority in a coalition to act as a junior partner. Moreover, they are trying to give prominence to local leaders, he says.

"If Congress can play second fiddle in coalitions, it will result in an interesting model. We have to see where it goes," he adds.


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