By Prarthana Mitra
As political mayhem continues to unfold in Karnataka, the ripples of Governor Vajubhai Vala’s decision are being felt across the nation.
Opposition parties have raised their voices against the Bharitya Janata Party (BJP) coming to power in Karnataka despite a fractured mandate. Mayawati, Akhilesh Yadav and DMK’s working president M K Stalin lambasted B S Yeddyurappa on Wednesday. The leaders said they are determined to organise a major movement across the country in defence of democracy, if parliamentary democratic norms are not followed in Karnataka.
Congress MLAs and leaders, including Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ashok Gehlot and Siddaramaiah, gathered at Mahatma Gandhi’s statue in Vidhan Soudha in Bengaluru to protest against BS Yeddyurappa’s swearing-in as chief minister of Karnataka.
Here’s what happened
Congress, JD(S), the Left, and other regional parties are likely to meet either in Bengaluru or Delhi to formulate a detailed plan for the movement, according to sources. “All opposition parties are determined to make this a major national issue in defence of democracy if blatant violation of our constitution continues and parliamentary democratic norms are not maintained,” CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said on Thursday.
All India Congress Committee General Secretary Ashok Gehlot in a direct circular requested all Pradesh Congress Committees, leaders and workers to organise state-wide dharnas in their respective capitals and district headquarters to protest against Yeddyurappa’s new formed government.
Earlier, in Meghalaya, Manipur and Goa, Congress had emerged as the single largest party but the BJP had formed the government after making post-poll alliances. In reaction, opposition in each of these states is taking a leaf out of Vala’s book in the wake of the governor’s invitation to the largest party instead of the larger coalition and asking their respective governors to allow them a chance to govern.
All 16 Goa Congress MLAs will march to the Raj Bhavan calling on the Governor to allow the single largest party to form the government. Meghalaya Congress is also staking claim for government formation as they are the single largest party in the state.
In Bihar, RJD forms the single largest party as well as the single largest block. “The governor should have given us the right to form the government. This is a black day for democracy. I want to appeal to all opposition parties to unite against BJP’s dictatorship,” said former Bihar deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav.
Fear of poaching gains solid ground as MLAs go missing
Earlier on Thursday, Congress MLA Ramesh Jharkiholi went missing from the Eagleton Resort. He was last seen attending the dharna at Vidhana Soudha after which he disappeared.
Congress also notified the media regarding two other missing leaders: MLAs Pratap Gowda Patil and Anand Singh. Referring to speculation that Anand Singh could rejoin the BJP, JDS leader Kumaraswamy said the Enforcement Directorate (ED) was being used against him as there was a case pending against him.
As fear of poaching continues, BJP denies all charges. Late Thursday night, around 120 Congress-JD(S) MLAs were rounded up and prepared to be shifted to Hotel Crown Plaza in Kochi, Kerala, after Yeddyurappa allegedly ordered Eagleton Resort’s police cover to be withdrawn, reports News18. “We never asked for any security, it is their duty,” said Congress leader DK Shivakumar.
What remains to be seen is if these movements will be futile in this electoral saga. Regardless of the outcome, unity among the opposition is of paramount importance right now
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