The H D Kumaraswamy government in Karnataka has completed 100 days—no mean feat given the fragility of the coalition arrangement between the Congress and JD(S). While Kumaraswamy and Congress chief Rahul Gandhi patted each other on the back Thursday on their success, the government is yet to settle down and get on with governance. Many ministers, especially from the Congress, are struggling to find a foothold in the JD(S)-dominated coalition.
Not a day passes without coalition leaders expressing confidence about the government’s survival and going on about how there are only minor problems. That hardly seems to be the case—differences are only growing, fuelling talk of an imminent collapse. The much-awaited Cabinet expansion has been delayed, appointments to corporations are yet to happen, the coordination committee has met only twice so far and there’s no sign of the promised common minimum programme.
What is making matters worse is a set of leaders constantly at loggerheads with each other. While A H Vishwanath, the new JD(S) state chief, has made it a habit to get on the Congress’ nerves, former CM Siddaramaiah is doing his bit—with a big revelation of a conspiracy to deny him a second term.
Siddaramaiah’s predicament is unique. In a way, he is neither in the government, nor in the Opposition—a difficult position to be in for someone who was all-powerful till the people voted out his government. And, the BJP is doing whatever it can to keep the pot boiling, looking for an opportunity to step in. It must be said that things wouldn’t have been much different had any other combination come to power. But what makes this coalition particularly fragile is the lack of timely efforts to resolve differences.
The uncertainty is crippling the government’s functioning. The government exists to work for the people, not to dish out favours to politicians and satisfy their bloated egos. Stop fighting and get on with the job. If not, get out.