‘Election bells are beginning to toll in Karnataka’

October 3, is still a couple of days away, but The Hindu has already heralded an end to the BJP-JDS alliance. In an editorial titled “An unavoidable divorce”, the paper sticks its neck out and says that when H.D. Kumaraswamy steps down as Chief Minister on Wednesday, the JD(S) is unlikely to back the BJP’s nominee for chief ministership. And that the results of the civic body elections would have emboldened the party to come to the conclusion that there is little to lose by ending the arrangement.

“With this turn of the political wheel, every possible combination within the Karnataka Assembly will have been exhausted: first, a Congress-JD(S) coalition, then a JD(S)-BJP coalition. Theoretically, only a Congress-BJP arrangement will remain to be tried out and that of course will be unthinkable.

“In such a situation, where the Congress and the JD(S) cannot come together again and the BJP and JD(S) appear to have broken up, a fresh Assembly election can be the only way out.

“Karnataka remains the BJP’s strongest base in south India. The single largest party in the State Assembly may feel cheated but it must bow to the inevitable — if the JD(S) confirms its virtual decision to walk out of the arrangement. Going to the people for a fresh mandate is the only way out in Karnataka and the next Assembly election can perhaps be held alongside the contest for Gujarat due towards the end of the year.”

Read the full editorial: An unavoidable divorce