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Manivannan’s here to stay; sorry, Shimoga

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As a Mysorean my first thought on learning of the fall of the Yeddyurappa government was, “Manivannan won’t have to move, after all”. His transfer order to Shimoga would have been given effect had Mr Y survived Monday’s assembly session. Mysore municipal/MUDA commissioner Mr Manivannan would have moved to Shimoga, Mr Y’s native place.

But then no one could have guessed that the man sworn in a week earlier as CM would find himself unemployed so soon. I had signed off an earlier post (as a lark) with a wishful sentence – A dramatic turn of events on the day of reckoning may hold an answer to the prayers of public spirited Mysoreans.

The thing about politics in Bangalore is that it is unpredictably volatile, with key players taking 180 degree turn in their stated positions, every other hour of the day. It is in such situations a media reporter gets to be a political pundit. You could get away with any spin, with reasonable expectation that developments would swing your way. Reporters, notably of the 24×7 channels, driven by the need to keep talking, theorizing, anticipating, and analyzing, pose in front of the camera as if they are on top of the story. Reality was no one had a clue what Mr Deve Gowda was up to at any given moment. Mr G, in Bangalore till late afternoon, air-dashes to Delhi in the evening, ostansibly to do deal with the Congress, as if he (Mr G) had planned it all.

Talk-shows were particularly entertaining; so much so that I skipped Mr & Mrs Smith, featuring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, on Star Movies to surf channels, from News Hour to Centre Stage, to Face the Nation (frustrating thing is you can’t dodge commercials, for all channels have ‘breaks’ around the same time).

A calamity, they say, tends to bring out the best in humans. But unlike in a cyclone, a quake, tsunami and other natural calamity, a political turmoil brings out the worst and the meanest in the lead players. In a spirited post – Bangalore politics stinks – blogger Pradeep Nair says he finds it hard to fathom what drives Mr. Deve Gowda who thrive on ‘engineering reckless destabilization games’. The blogger is amazed that “there isn’t a voice of sanity anywhere near him”.

If Mr G is Machiavellian in tactics and an MOP (master of opportunistic politics) why would anyone want to do business with him, in the first place? In politics, notably in Karnataka, it appears no one raises such naïve questions. Politics is a matter of maxing one’s opportunity gains. BJP appears no less opportunistic in this context. Even as their CM ‘ho-haed’ in the media about Mr G’s mega betrayal, groups of Yeddyurappa supporters reportedly thronged Mr G’s residence to request him to reconsider the JD(S) decision (to vote against the government in the trust motion). They were promptly snubbed by Mr G, saying, “It is all over”.

The flip-flap politics that brought governance to a virtual stand-still in recent weeks would have been worth it, if it leads to a situation where people could say, it’s all over for Mr G as well. The Hindu, polling people for man-in-the-street reactions cites a chartered accountant who wondered whether there was a need for an elected government at all. His point was that under the governor’s rule one could count on predictability; a certain progress in on-going development projects.

A company CEO Mr Harish Bijoor, appearing on IBN-CNN chat-show, observed that, of the three contending parties the BJP is the only one that hasn’t been tested in power and the JD(S) now made it look ‘an underdog’. The underdog factor ought to work in BJP’s favour in a fresh election held anytime soon. However, in his reckoning, Karnataka is likely to return a fractured verdict again.

Mr Bijoor, thinking out-of-the-box, said, in such an eventuality, each of the three parties should be given a chance to govern for 20 months each. Mr B has a point. This would rule out scope for a coalition papered over with self-serving MoU, stamp-paper tactics and other arm-twisters.

Cross-posted from My Take


tsubba's picture

Sham Democracy

115 users have liked.
there is something wrong with the way our governments are setup. in the last 50 odd years we have had 24 CMs. after the election it is all about party politics and has nothing to do with people. they donot have to explain anything to the people or ask them for their opinion. whether a single party wins majority or it is a coalition government this is true. either some disgruntled MLA is trying to pull the rug from the current CM or some disgruntled party is looking to pull the rug from the current govt all the time. between elections it is jungle raj. there must be some way to control this jungle during the 5 years between elections. there must be a referendum on any change of CM or govt. we have instant polls for all sorts of stupid things like who is the better singer, who is the better dance, make tajmahal #1 etc. but nobody conducted a poll if a govt should split or be saved. i know we cant conduct democracy based on SMS polls but whatever is happening is also not democracy. there must be relatively fast and less expensive way of conducting referendums. say if they can set up a referendum in 1 month - 3 weeks for preparation, 1 week for voting + results. with 50% of the expenses to be borne by the parties. permanent polling booths at the taluk office of all the 175 taluks of KA, i dont know, there must be a way. the other way change our constitution only. vote directly for the CM. and vote for assembly separately. let CM pick ministers, and if the minister happens to be a MLA, then he has to resign from the assembly. The system in US. That way both Revanna and HDK can stand for election and let people decide who they want as their CM instead of their father. bottom line is this if it is possible or even imaginable our folks will do it, just make it impossible for them to mess around.
Naveen's picture

Excessive Democracy !

108 users have liked.
Absolutley ! The system is permitting the likes of Devegowda & his off-springs to get away without any sort of accountability since the other parties do not have the numbers to form a govt & appear to be at their mercy - this is not just a sham, but excessive democracy, which even lets a party to dishonor its commitments. Once a coalition is formed, any conditions agreed between relevant political parties should be open & binding + the public should have the capablity to hold them accountable for lack of or diruptions in governance. Even at the central govt level, coalitions have resulted in numerous & unnecessary disruptions as horse-trading & gerry-mandering have become an accepted norm & taken centre-stage. The citizens, at the receiving end of all this, do not have any means to combat this form of evil.
City.Zen's picture

Ministers' Accountability

104 users have liked.
I wonder if ministers are accountable. For 40 long months, a single man, that too the most powerful one at that, has headed the pakoda, wadey, dosey, PWD dept. here. Yet, the roads all over the State reflect the degeneracy of the State politics. Look at the roads in Goa and Maharashtra. Far, far better. What are the remedies available to us Citizens to bring the guilty to the book? City Zen
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