n light of the Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy’s very public breakdown on becoming the “victim” of a “poisonous coalition” government with Congress, BJP leader Arun Jaitley in his Facebook blog has talked about the trappings of such “non-ideological opportunistic coalitions” and how Congress has been forging these to further its politics.
Here is the full text of the blog:
The country has been watching with keen interest the developments in Karnataka in the past two months. It is a repeat of what the Congress did to Chaudhary Charan Singh, Shri Chandrasekhar, Shri H.D. Deve Gowda and Shri I.K. Gujral? It is the obvious consequence of a non-ideological opportunistic alliance with no positive agenda. The basis of the negative agenda is ‘Keep Modi Out’.
I had, on the 26th May, 2018, written about the aspiration of some opposition leaders to form a ‘fictional alternative’. I had, in that article, concluded as under:
“The last few days have witnessed a discussion about a “fictional alternative”. A group of disparate political parties are promising to come together. Some of their leaders are temperamental, the others occasionally change ideological positions. With many of them, such as TMC, DMK, TDP, BSP and the JD(S), the BJP has had an opportunity to share power. They frequently change political positions. They have supported the BJP claiming that it is in larger national interest and then turned turtle and oppose it in the name of secularism. These are ideologically flexible political groups. Stable politics is far from their political track record. Some amongst this disparate group have an extremely dubious track record of governance. Some leaders are maverick and others include those who are either convicted or charged with serious allegations of corruption. There are many whose political support base is confined to either a few districts or to a particular caste. To rule a large country like India through coalitions is possible but the nucleus of a coalition has to be stable. It must have a large size, an ideologically defined position and a vested interest in honest governance.A federal front is a failed idea. It was experimented under Shri Charan Singh, Shri Chandrasekhar and by the United Front Government between 1996-98. Such a front with its contradictions, sooner or later, loses its balance and equilibrium. Remembering 1996-98, as perhaps one of the worst period of governance, the aspirational India which today occupies the high table in the world shall never accept an idea which has repeatedly failed. History teaches us this lesson. Aspirational societies with vibrant democracies do not invite anarchy. A strong nation and the requirements of good governance abhor anarchy. The political agenda for the debate this year appropriately will be Prime Minister “Modi versus an anarchist combination”. The 2014 election conclusively established that in the New India, chemistry will score over arithmetic when it comes to deciding the country’s destiny.
The teary-eyed Kumaraswamy
In the past few days we witnessed the Chief Minister of Karnataka, Shri H.D. Kumaraswamy, baring his emotions with tears, wetting his eyes and declining to accept bouquets and garlands. He was candid enough to publicly state “I am swallowing my pain just nothing more than poison without sharing it……….I am not happy with the situation for the last one month. Nobody knows the jugglery……..If I wish, within two hours, I can step down from the office……..” Listening to these statements of an Honourable Chief Minister, my memory took me back to the dialogues of the tragedy era of Hindi cinema. If this is the consequence of a two party coalition, what is it that a disparate group of parties with no ideological similarity offer to India? India is today passing through a phase where a great opportunity awaits it. We need, for the next one decade and more, a high trajectory growth. We are faced with the global challenge of terrorism and the current economic challenges thrown up by rising crude oil prices and the trade war. To confront these challenges, India needs a strong and cohesive Government. More so, it means a decisive political leadership. It needs a Government which is able to resist unfair pressures of either allies or regions.
It is the high growth rate, investment into rural India and the social sectors, credibility and strength of the Indian economy which will help us to be domestically strong to meet these challenges. If fighting terror has to be compromised because of vote bank pressures of allies, then such a Government would be a liability and curse on the nation. Can a leadership unsure of itself meet the challenge of eliminating poverty and transforming the world’s fastest growing economy into a developed nation?
Coalition and a weak leader
Such non-ideological opportunistic coalitions always get trapped within their own contradictions. Their only object is survival and not service of the nation. Their longevity is a suspect. If the Prime Minister of such a coalition has to weep before the cameras with an only wish of how to exit from office, it will be a scenario worse than the policy paralysis of UPA II. The Congress firmly believes that only members of one family can rule India. If anybody else gets a chance, he should be pushed to the desperation of throwing his hands up and weeping publicly.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has clearly demonstrated the advantages of a decisive leadership. India’s Prime Minister and his Government has to overcome the challenges that India faces today. He cannot be seen like the Chief Minister of Karnataka as a tragedy king. If such a coalition is a cup of poison, why even dream of inflicting it on the nation? The leader of the world’s fastest growing economy cannot be a ‘Bechara’.
This article has been reproduced as it appeared on Arun Jaitley’s Facebook page and has not been edited by Politics Today.