Wednesday, February 8th, 2023 20:07:08

Murky politics of Karnataka Entangled in the TAPE of deceit and skullduggery

Updated: February 20, 2019 11:22 am

The “clerk” by name H.D. Kumaraswamy heading a tottering condominium conducts the morally and legally questionable sting operation to nail and expose BJP for toppling his government. In the process, the embattled chief minister commits a grave impropriety of revealing it to the media unmindful of the adverse impact it will have on the Assembly Speaker and other Constitutional Dignitaries from the purported objectionable contents of the audio CD.

Welcome to Karnataka where the political atmosphere is disgusting and nauseating with governance  having gone to dogs and where politics of deceit and skulduggery rules the roost.

The politics in Karnataka touched a new low on many counts after chief minister of a condomium,  H.D. Kumaraswamy, revealed a audio CD that purportedly contained the conversation of BJP President and Leader of the Opposition B.S. Yeddyurappa planning to bring down the coalition government.

HDK’s desperate attempt to fix BJP & BSY

Was HDK right in rushing to the media to release the audio CD that purportedly contain some remarks that tantamount to casting aspersion on the Assembly Speaker and other top Constitutional dignitaries?

Political Observers are of the view that it was political impropriety on the part of H.D. Kumaraswamy to release the audio CD to the media which brought to the fore the names of the Assembly Speaker, Prime Minister, Amit Shah and other Constitutional dignitaries without bringing this issue before the presiding officer of the Karnataka Assembly.

Audio CD, released to media by Kumaraswamy hours before the presentation of the budet, purportedly contain somebody speaking that “we have bought the Speaker for Rs 50 crores and the Prime Minister as well as Amit Shah will manage others”

Yeddyurappa categorically denied of having spoken any of these things; Assembly Speaker Ramesh too echoed similar opinion.

Visibly upset Ramesh Kumar told the media; “I have heard the audio CD not once or twice but thrice. I can say for sure that Yeddyurappa has not spoken of having bought the Assembly Speaker. Someone else has spoken. We must find out that someone. How can any tom, dick and harry speak about the Speaker, Prime Minister and other dignitaries?”

That the embattled chief minister rushed to the media to release the audio CD without ascertaining the veracity and authenticity of the contents of the CD only showed that he is desperate to score brownie points and fix BJP whom he is accusing of making attempts to poach the MLAs of the coalition partners. It also proved that Kumaraswamy had ulterior motive diabolical intention in hatching the plot as well as releasing it to the media.

Political observers say that it was not only cheap politics on the part of Kumaraswamy but also a deep-rooted plot to fix Yeddyurappa and showcase BJP in the bad light.

“When aspersions have been cast on the Assembly Speaker and the Prime Minister, the chief minister was morally and ethically duty-bound to discuss the issue with the Speaker before going to the media. That he did not do this smacks of a ploy,” a senior journalist said, requesting anonymity.

At the same time Kumaraswamy’s double-talk has also come to the fore that proves t of hatching a conspiracy to fix BJP. First he said that he sent his MLA’s son Sharana Gouda to Yeddyurappa who was in Deodurga Government Guest house.

Later, he changed his tack and said, “Why should I send anybody. Local BJP leaders called my MLAs’son and he went there. I have no role to play”    (SAHK)

Unmindful of the consequences of the purported contents of the audio CD will have on the integrity of the Assembly Speaker, Kumaraswamy, a few hours before presenting the budget, disclosed to the media a portion of the CD that supposed to contain objectionable conversation of Yeddyurappa and BJP MLA Shivanagouda Naik on the possible change of loyalty from JDS to BJP.

“This is the proof that the BJP is trying to topple my government. Yeddyurappa is seen and heard speaking to Sharana Gouda, son of Deodurga JDs MLA Nagana Gouda, where he is egging him to persuade his father to join BJP,” Kumaraswamy told media. Stung by this sudden turn events, Yeddyurappa,  however, was quick to counter the charge. “It is true that I met Sharana Gouda in the night. It was a casual talk. I have not spoken anything objectionable with Sharana Gouda, definitely not about the Speaker and other Constitutional dignitaries,”Yeddyurappa countered.

As expected the Assembly was on fire when this audio issue came up the next day. The discussion on budget went for a toss as the entire proceedings centered around the audio CD. Visibly upset and embarrassed BJP MLAs were seen discussing among themselves in hushed tone. But Yeddyurappa, the fighter he is, was assertive.

“I reiterate. I will retire from politics if I have spoken anything about the crores of rupees or anything against the Assembly Speaker. The audio has been doctored, concocted and revealed to the media so as to suit his political needs. This is the nastiest thing anybody can indulge in,” the BJP leader said.

Karnataka BJP pays in terms of image & credibility for being indiscreet, irresponsible and reckless

Agreed Kumaraswamy laid a trap and hatched a plot to catch BSY and BJP on the wrong foot. But why the hell Yeddyurappa and the local  MLA walked into the trap? Why couldn’t they remain discreet while speaking to the JDS MLA’s son Sharana Gouda in the government guest house at Deodurga in Raichur district? And where was the need to meet JDS MLAs son in the mid-night at about 1 AM. How can they be so casual and reckless? These are the questions that are boggling the mind of the party workers and BJP admirers.

The biggest bane of the Karnataka BJP is that the leaders, including legislators, have not learnt any lesson from their top leadership, Modi, Amit Shah, Advani et,al – the lesson to restrain themselves from speaking recklessly, restrain themselves from being indiscreet, irresponsible and careless.

This sort of abominable public conduct and reprehensible behaviour have cost the party dearly when it was in power between 2008 and 2013.

While the performance of the first-ever BJP government during the 36-months of Yeddyurappa rule was good in terms of evolving welfare schemes and taking up developmental activities notwithstanding havoc created by Reddy brothers, the abominable behaviour of the ruling party MLAs including ministers costed the party very dearly in terms of image and credibility. It led to its humiliating defeat in the 2013 assembly hustings.

Similar indiscreet and recklessness are being shown by the BJP. Yeddyurappa maintains that he, indeed, met Sharana Gouda, the son of JDS MLA at about 12.45 AM but he denied of having spoken to him on political developments. “The contents of the audio CD released by Kumaraswamy is concocted, doctored and tailored to suit his (HDK) political needs. This is cheap politics,” Yeddyurappa said.

All said and done, it is high time that the Karnataka BJP leaders learn to be responsible, discreet and careful in their public utterances, conduct and behaviour. Already a fear and apprehension have set

in among the people if the Karnataka BJP is letting down Modi very badly in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections by their abominable public conduct and lack-lustre performance as the main opposition inside and outside the legislature.           (SAHK)

Kumaraswamy, on his part, said that it was he who sent his party’s MLAs son, Sharana Gouda to meet Yeddyurappa who was in the Government Inspection Bungalow at Deodurga. BJP member and former minister S. Suresh Kumar was quick to point out that “snooping and tapping of other conversations is a criminal offence”.

Caught off guard, Kumaraswamy changed his tack. “I did not send the MLAs son on my own. He (MLAs son) called me and told me that Yeddyurappa is asking him to come to Government IB and whether he should go or not. I told him to go,” the chief minister defended.

There is an element of logic in what former chief minister and senior BJP leader Jagadish Shettar said in the Assembly. “How far it was right on the part of Kumaraswamy to convene a press conference and reveal the contents of the audio CD to the media when he is aware that the character and integrity of the Assembly Speaker are at stake? Another BJP MLA J.C Madhuswamy was at his best when he said, “Kumaraswamy had an ulterior motive not only fix the BJP but also to make the position of the Speaker untenable for his own reasons.”

Assembly Speaker Ramesh Kumar, who is in the eye of the storm, suggested to the treasury benches to constitute a Special Investigation Team to find out the veracity of the voice but the BJP opposed it. “Our charge is that it is the government, the chief minister, who is the chief architect of the creation of the CD. How can we trust the SIT constituted by the government, “former minister Govind Karjol said.

BJP was right in demanding the inclusion of Kumaraswamy in the probe as he has committed a criminal offence of snooping and tapping somebody’s conversation.

“Everybody knows the fate of the then chief minister Ramakrishna Hegde who was accused of telephone tapping scandal in 1988. His moral fibre was strong and hence he resigned owning moral responsibility. But this chief minister is crass, cheap and nasty. We don’t expect him to resign on moral grounds. We want Kumaraswamy also be implicated in the probe for his criminal offence,” is BJP’s contention.

“A tottering condominium in the theatre of the absurds”

“A condominium that totters on daily basis in the theatre of the absurds” is the apt description of the Karnataka government being supposedly governed by the JDS and Congress. Ever since this “erected regime” –  not elected – consisting of two rejected parties managed to shamelessly worm back to office, people of Karnataka are subjected not only untold hardship in terms of absence of even semblance of governance but theatrics and tantrums of one kind or the other.

“I have become a clerk in the government,” said H.D. Kumaraswamy without battling an eyelid. The other day he said he won’t mind quitting if the Congress continues to pin-prick every day. “I can’t stand this insult. This the humiliation of the 6.50 crore Kannadigas,” emotionally-charged Kumaraswamy said, when powerful Congress MLAs said that “their chief minister still is Siddaramaiah and not Kumaraswamy”

It is no more a secret that majority of the Congress MLAs including the master-strategist and former chief minister Siddaramaiah are not happy with the Congress high command’s decision to support JDS to form the government. “Giving the reigns of the government to the hands of Deve Gowda is as good as committing suicide. Slowly but surely, day by day, he (Deve Gowda) will tighten his Octopus-like grip over the government leaving very little for the Congress to operate. I know Gowda inside-out. But what to do? We are helpless. We have to support the high command which has taken this decision keeping the overall picture in view to prevent BJP from coming to power. But that is illogical and irrational,” a senior Congress legislator told Uday India, on the conditions of anonymity.

True to such words, Kumaraswamy transferred as many as 136 Inspector-level Police Officers without the notice of the Home Minister M.B. Patil. Earlier too, Kumaraswamy ordered the transfer of 12 IPS officers without the knowledge of the then Deputy Chief Minister Dr G. Parameshwar who held the home portfolio. Kumaraswamy’s elder brother H.D. Revanna, who has come to be described as Super CM and who holds his all-favourite PWD portolio, is accused of indulging in the transfer of officials of other departments also, the charge he has denied.

The government is a typical condominium – individual owners of small spaces operating under common roof. There is no accountability on anybody’s part. While the JDS ministers report, more to Deve Gowda, instead of Kumaraswamy, the chief minister, the Congress Ministers report to Siddaramaiah, and not to Kumaraswamy. “It is perhaps because of this reason why Kumaraswamy keeps on telling that he has been reduced to a mere clerk” (SAHK)

The Congress party, which is facing trust-deficit at the national level, was quick to grab this opportunity. It went to town, tom-tomming that the BJP was using immoral, unethical and unconstitutional methods to topple the coalition government – as if it was moral, ethical and constitutional to form the government even after having been rejected by the people in the hustings. The Congress plans to make it an all-India issue in order to corner BJP.

It is clear that all the three parties are guided by desperation – Congress and JDS are desperate to retain the power that they have managed to get through deceitful means; BJP is desperate to unseat this “erected” government that has come to power through unholy and unnatural means.

While all the three parties are desperate for their respective reasons, the people, on the other hand, are not only helpless but also frustrated.  That they are seething with anger  and resentment – which are intense and wide-spread throughout the state – goes without saying. How the BJP manages to wriggle out of  this self-created embarrassing position and to what extent the Congress and the JDS will go to nail BJP is to be keenly watched.

By S. A. Hemantha Kumar From Bengaluru

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