It has become all too patent that Karnataka politics has become a running model of the worst rot and nauseating decay. Ever since the assembly election was over, BJP has been after the ruling coalition's legislators with hefty wallets. Until today the party has not been able to reconcile to its ouster by the people or to function as a responsible opposition. BJP's agenda in Karnataka has shrunk to grab power by any means fair or foul before the Lok Sabha elections. To this end, BS Yedyurappa and his team, with the support of the Centre, are in an all-out effort, uprooting the lowest ebb of political propriety.
The content of the tapes released the other day by chief minister HD Kumaraswamy, of Yedyurappa's conversations over phone and later in person, with Dal MLA Nandanagowda Kantkur's son Sharanagouda alone would do to tell in what detestable ways the tools of power are being used: "We have booked the speaker on our side by paying 50 crore rupees. We will give you 25 crores. We will inform the governor, with the support of the speaker, that the government does not have a majority. Amit Shah and prime minister Modi will ensure that the governor will stand by BJP." He did not fail to promise that 14 MLAs have switched sides from Congresss and Dal, and they themselves will take care of the strategy to win the elction, if they had to face it. Yedyurappa, who came out denying the sound track, also declared that if it was proven that it was his voice, he would quit politics within 24 hours. But while answering pressmen at Hubbally airport, he was forced to admit having met the son of Gurmitkal MLA. Kumaraswamy has declared that if his tape was proven as fake, he would quit politics too. The speaker has ordered to send the tape for forensic tests.
Now the most expensive commodity in Karnataka is MLAs, whose main activity for several days has been moving from resorts to resorts. 200 crore Rupees has been said to be earmarked for Operation Kamala to buy up the legislators. And in order not to lose the existing MLAs in their hands, Congress and Janata Dal-S too are dangling crores of rupees and positions, in addition to consigning them to a life of 'luxurious imprisonment' in resorts. Despite this, the ruling party is flabbergasted trying to figure out if over 8 MLAs have switched sides or not. Even the ruling front will not be able, without money power and misuse of power, to survive BJP's games to somehow topple the coalition government before the adjournment of the assembly and face Lok Sabha election on that advantage. Advocates of suitcase politics themselves, Kumaraswamy and DK Shivakumar may not be restrained by any compunction on that score. Even as they all play roles in this absurd drama of base behaviour, the most unbearable phenomenon is that they will shamelessly declare before the people that it is all for service of the people and for uplift of the poor. The drama that is playing out in Karnataka makes it certain that money will flow with no let or hindrance in the coming Lok Sabha election also, and once again underlines the fact that the sole factor that defines and drives power, is money.
It was finance minister Arun Jaitley who said that over the last 70 years, Indian democracy was rooted on the foundations of black money. It was with this 'invisible wealth' that people's representatives, government, political parties and legislative assemblies all were running to their fully. He also said unequivocally that the election commission has completely failed in stemming this. What is to be affirmed is not that parties and leaders have given up political morality, but that they had never accepted it except as a slogan. In earlier times when the corporate capital flowing to parties formed the source of energy of political parties, that very word was an indecent abomination. Our justice system and seats of executive power have failed to develop a value-based politics that roots it out - as proven by the legislation brought in by Modi government which made donation to political parties immune from audit. Thus, it is on the back of the conviction that no one will dare to ask for the accounts of the funds lavished by political parties, that 'resort politics' is ruling the roost with such effrontery. What Karnataka is proving now is that if they are not able to win by purchasing votes, they will buy up those who win the votes. It brooks no further delay to realize that the coffin on whose top Operation Kamala is hitting a nail, is of nothing else but Indian democracy.