CHURUMURI POLL: Is ‘Operation Kamala’ OK?

The resumption of “Operation Kamala”—the BJP’s advertised attempt to cobble up a majority by prompting legislators from the Congress and JDS to resign their seats—has seen a furious backlash from the Congress, which staged a dharna in front of the chief minister’s residence last night.

On paper, the BJP’s tactics may seem par for the muddied course. After all, it can claim that it is not wooing opposition MLAs to defect to its ranks; it only encourages them to leave the party on whose ticket he was elected and then stand for election on its symbol. In reality, though, Operation Kamala is fraught.

At one level, it openly dangles the fruits of office before susceptible legislators, as if they should be the only motivation of being elected legislators. In effect, a bribe. And, at another level, it makes nonsense of ideology, provided such a thing exists in the lexicon of any legislator today.

For the BJP, which has essentially been paying the price for the Operation Kamala as every round of dissidence has shown, the fact that it has had to embark on another round of the same exercise demonstrates how fragile its existence is, and how compelling the need to be survive at all costs.

On the other hand, the fact that legislators are willing to resign their seats, dump their voters and risk everything once again, shows how tempting the power of office is.

Question: Is “Operation Kamala” a legitimate political strategy?