bad politics

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 18 May 2018 11:26:58

THE attempt of the Congress party to stall the swearing-in ceremony of Mr. B.S. Yeddyurappa as Karnataka Chief Minister by approaching the Supreme Court late in the night, only shows how desperate the party has become to hold on to power in one of its last bastions. That the special bench comprising Mr. Justice A.K. Sikri, Mr. Justice S.A. Bobde, and Mr. Justice Ashok Bhushan did not agree to stall the oath on Thursday, May 17, 2018, did not accept the Congress argument, is only one part of the story which is promising to go on for some time now. For, calling the decision of Karnataka Governor Mr. Vajubhai Vala to invite Mr. B.S. Yeddyurappa of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as unconstitutional, senior lawyer Adv. Ram Jethmalani also has moved the Supreme Court. Obviously, the Karnataka issue would continue claiming national attention for sometime. 

What was surprising was the willingness of the Supreme Court to hear the petition moved by Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi for Congress and Janata Dal (S) well beyond midnight of May 16-17. This odd timing came to be mentioned during the nightly hearing as question came about the urgency of the issue. This matter could well be heard on May 17 during daytime, too. Yet, the Supreme Court chose to open its doors for the night. It had made a similar departure from normal practice when it heard the matter very late in the night once again after it had already cleared the hanging of master terrorist Yaqub Memon in Nagpur’s Central Prison. That time also, the Supreme Court had come in for criticism from many quarters for giving the Yaqub Memon supporters so much space. In the Karnataka case, a similar feeling is being expressed.

Finally, the special bench did hear the argument and refused to stay the swearing-in of Mr. Yeddyurappa. The honourable judges agreed that they could reverse the decision of the Governor but could not question his authority to take decisions and issue orders in any matter. The details of what would finally transpire in the Supreme Court on May 18, 2018, notwithstanding, it is obvious that the decision to open the court in the night could have been avoided since the issue of majority in Karnataka Assembly was to be decided by floor test in the next 15 days. It appeared that the honourable Supreme Court wanted to demonstrate that it carried no biases and was willing to hear the matter without delay. We only hope that such a practice is not repeated in future.

The constitutionality of Governor Mr. Vajubhai Vala’s decision will get discussed in detail during the hearing of the case. Yet, it is more than obvious that the Governor acted in tune with the Constitution and invited the single largest party to form the Government whose majority support would be tested subsequently. Yet, the arguments raised by the Congress party show its desperation and impatience. Even as it challenged the Governor’s decision to invite the BJP to form Government in a so-called unconstitutional manner, the Congress party was not willing to ponder over its own alliance of political expediency with its arch rival Janata Dal (S). Congress leadership went beyond all limits to criticise the Governor.
Of course, the Karnataka drama will continue at least for fifteen days more when Mr. Yeddyurappa will have to prove his party’s numerical majority on the floor of the Karnataka Assembly. The task appears tough at this stage. Yet, politics is also a game of great uncertainty, and tide can turn anytime in any direction. What future has in store for Karnataka only time will tell. Yet, it is more than obvious that Congress party got yet another setback in quick succession when Mr. B.S. Yeddyurappa took oath of office of Chief Minister of Karnataka. It is more than clear that Congress and the Janata Dal (S) are playing bad politics.