The revolution by the Deve Gowda must have elevate the hackles of Mamata Banerjee. It doesn’t promised for her dream of being Prime Minister as she may be suspended if Mahagathbandhan wins in 2019. She could be ‘made to walk’ to the ‘swearing-in ceremony’ only to see a Mayawati or a Gowda take over.
The Gowdas cordially invited West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee to the swearing-in-ceremony of HD Kumaraswamy in Bengaluru. Then, they created a traffic jam and forced Didi to walk all the way to Vidhana Soudha. Banerjee, the future Prime Minister of India, had to walk. Who in the Front (if it is second or third is yet undecided) wanted to humiliate her? Was it the Gowdas? Should Mamatadi remain in the Front with visible signs of a coup emerging?
In the Lok Sabha, Mamata Banerjee’s TMC has 34 seats but Deve Gowda’s Janata Dal (Secular) has none. If this trend continues in 2019, and going by what happened in Karnataka, it is obvious that JD(S) supremo HD Deve Gowda will be the Prime Minister because he will have fewer seats than Banerjee. As if to prove this premonition right (yeah it is scary), he has started renovating his House in Delhi.
The Congress is accused of bringing lakhs of Bangladeshis to Karnataka and spending money like water to allegedly get them fake voter-id cards besides jobs and homes. This helped it win many seats, it is said. Yet, Deve Gowda bulldozed the Congress’ 78 MLAs to install his son, Kumaraswamy, who had only 37 MLAs, on the Chief Minister’s chair.
Similarly, Didi is accused of bringing a huge illegal Bangaldeshi immigrant vote bank into West Bengal and pampering them like the Congress and the JD(S) did to their MLAs in 5-star resorts. Of course, instead of resorts, Banerjee gave them entire districts like Malda, Dhulagarh and Basirhat to play jihad. Will she be rewarded for her hard work? Not so sure because the Gowdas simply got National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah and AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi to address the Bangladeshis, who morally belong to the Congress and grabbed an entire State for themselves.
The Congress Government in Karnataka very smartly turned a blind eye to the murder and attacks on BJP and RSS workers. They like their ideological opponents to be dead. But Banerjee has surpassed them, going by the ‘well-orchestrated’ violence unleashed on the locals before, after and during every election in West Bengal ever since she became the Chief Minister. But the Gowdas are smart. They engineered a bloodless coup and in a game of thrones, usurped one that was not even theirs. Very Gandhian, actually!
‘Games’ remind me of hobbies. We all know that Didi sells her ‘priceless’ paintings to fund her elections and win enough seats to become the Chief Minister. It was no mean achievement (if you have seen her paintings you would know) until the Gowdas started showing interest in the race tracks, except that they were the horses. They did not even have to fund or win the elections. All they had to do was loiter on the track after the elections and wait for Sonia Gandhi to come shopping. Has Sonia Gandhi ever bought Didi’s paintings? No, and that greatly reinforces the theory of a coup.
Then there is the ‘divine’ hand. Remember the Archbishop’s letter calling for prayers in churches ahead of 2019 elections in the face of a “turbulent political atmosphere threatening democracy and secularism?” Coincidentally, the call by the Archbishop was made two days before the Karnataka election results. A great and rare example of a secular Church, indeed! Wasn’t a similar letter written during the Gujarat election? Not to be left behind in the ‘secular’ race, Didi even strongly supported the call for prayer. All their congregations prayed and yet, the Congress was demoted from the king to a king-maker. In contrast, Deve Gowda and his family organised year-long prayers in several Hindu temples and the kingmaker became the king. This is such a bad omen for Didi who simply dislikes Hindu gods and goddesses. The Gowdas are so communal. How can Didi compete with that?
There also arises an issue of caste. Karnataka’s leaders love caste and religion more than the nation. There is a possibility that the Gowdas may object to Didi becoming the Prime Minister as she has a Brahmin surname. If she converts to a secular religion, the problem can be solved. Fair, socialist and secular politicians, who thrive on creating new religions, will find her to be a worthy aspirant to any post.
Well, coming back to the coup theory. As if to add salt to the freshly erupted blisters on Didi’s feet, Sonia Gandhi hugged Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati tight but displayed no such affection for Didi. After all, Mayawati has zero Lok Sabha seats which is 44 less than the Congress’. What if Sonia Gandhi installs her as the Prime Minister in 2019?
Firebrand Mamatadi should be worried. She can be sidelined after the Mahagathbandhan wins the 2019 election. And she could be made to walk to her oath-taking ceremony, only to arrive on the scene to see Deve Gowda or Mayawati take oath as the Prime Minister. The walk to Vidhana Soudha could even have been a rehearsal, cruelly planted by the Gowdas.
Such serious concerns… must be conveyed to Didi by her fans if they wish to see her become the Prime Minister. But the rest of us want to convey our support to Karnataka’s DGP Neelamani Raju, a dignified officer, who was reprimanded in public by an arrogant woman, who happens to be the Chief Minister of West Bengal, for having had to walk a few metres.
Banerjee cannot be our Prime Minister and neither can anyone else in the motley crowd that turned up on the dais at Vidhana Soudha to congratulate a man who has no mandate to be the Chief Minister of Karnataka.
Another day we shall talk about Naidu and KCR; and yet another about the Yadavs and Mayawati. We will need a few reams at least to discuss egos, ambitions, insecurities and political journeys of each one of the Prime Minister wannabes in the Mahagathbandhan. India surely has elected better and deserves better.
(The writer is with non-profit organization, Samartha Bharata, Bengaluru)
Writer: Aparna Pathwardhan
Courtesy: The Pioneer