While BJP is calling the Chief Minister a ‘legendary actor’ for his teary affair, Congress is wondering why he is shedding tears; political analysts say crying might not always help and in this case could even make BJP look stronger
BENGALURU:“ If you want to see me alive, make me win,” a teary-eyed H D Kumaraswamy had appealed to voters of Bengaluru while campaigning for the assembly polls. Two months since the appeal, Kumaraswamy has gone on to become the Chief Minister of the state but his teary affair has remained unchanged.
Kumaraswamy’s image as a sniveler is now being discussed at the national level with the BJP calling him a ‘legendary actor’ while his coalition partner Congress is left wondering why he is tearing up in the first place. While inner circles of the Congress are abuzz with discussions about how Kumaraswamy is gathering undue sympathy with the waterworks, the party and its leaders have asked the CM to remain ‘strong’. Political analysts, however, believe the crying does much more than merely helping the CM play the ‘victim card’.
Political analyst Dr Sandeep Shastri says, “It is a calculated emotional upsurge with an intention to retain the support of his core group.” Deeming the tearing up a quality that Kumaraswamy seems to have inherited from his father H D Deve Gowda, Shastri said such emotional outbursts by Kumaraswamy were more like a confession to his voters. “It is perhaps to justify what you are doing and the stand you have taken which go diametrically against what you have done in the past,” he added. From day one of assuming the CM’s post, Kumaraswamy has called himself a ‘victim of circumstances’, ‘at the mercy of Congress’ and ‘prisoner of circumstances’ to express his purported helplessness.
Analysts believe that another reason for CM’s emotional outbursts could be his helplessness in fulfilling the promises he made to the people, not realising the magnanimity of such promises. “The tears are a result of him being held back and being unable to do the things he intends to,” Prof Harish Ramaswamy, a psephologist, said.
Factors that seem to be bothering Kumaraswamy are the pressures of a coalition government, multiple power centres from within the party as well as the government, inability to take decisions on his own, the loss of face for not meeting expectations from his poll promises like complete farm loan waiver, fresh budget and the interference of other entities in the governance.
“Taking the frustration to his voters is perhaps the only outlet since he cannot explain his context or limitations,” Ramaswamy said. The ground reality of implementing the promises Kumaraswamy made before polls are perhaps dawning on him now. Deve Gowda has a track record of getting emotional during press conferences, public rallies and workers’ meets. Kumaraswamy too has made emotional appeals on multiple occasions, hoping to strike a chord with the electorate and score brownie points. While it has helped him build an image of being ‘straightforward’ and ‘a common man’, analysts believe that in the long term, crying is of little help to a leader, especially a CM.
“Too much of crying doesn’t help in politics. Tears are weapons that are to be used very sparingly. If used in excess, it will boomerang,” political commentator and academic A Narayana, Azim Premji University, said. Taking a cue from the mood of the nation in 2014, Narayana said the country was looking for a strong leader and not somebody who plays the victim card. He became CM without ever being a minister or holding any portfolios. The lack of political maturity to handle challenging circumstances, he said, is another reason for Kumaraswamy breaking down more often than not. “It means he is finding it difficult to manage the show. People expect leaders to perform in the face of constraints and the tears do more damage than creating sympathy,” Narayana said.
The repercussions that Kumaraswamy’s teary ways will have on the coalition will be negative, analysts believe. “It helps you keep your committed flock together but the long-term impact would be detrimental to the party and the alliance,” Shashtri said. The ‘blow hot - blow cold’ pattern of praising an alliance partner one-day while berating it the next is of little help in serving the interest of the JD(S)-Congress coalition that exists more out of necessity than conviction is the popular observation. The more Kumaraswamy cries his heart out, the more Congress will be in a fix, essentially giving BJP more ground to become stronger, analysts believe.
Pre-KG student’s video on CM goes viral
HASSAN: A video of a pre-KG student from Holenarasipur taluk urging the CM not to get stressed out in administrative matters went viral on social media on Monday. Arundati, in her two-minute video, said, “I will also cry if you (CM) take tension. You should come to my native village and relax for some time.”