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Operation Lotus" in Karnataka Amid Alleged Leadership Tussle?

Following the BJP's sweeping victory in the recent assembly elections across three states, the party seems poised to leverage its success to unsettle governments in Karnataka and Jharkhand. In Karnataka, where the Congress secured a majority, internal strife over the selection of the Chief Minister had erupted, with factions supporting various contenders openly promoting their leaders since the election triumph.

Operation Lotus

Bengaluru: H. D. Kumaraswamy, the former Chief Minister of Karnataka from the latest entrant to the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), Janata Dal (Secular), has claimed that a minister in the Karnataka government is on the brink of rebellion. Kumaraswamy alleges that this dissident minister, with the backing of 50-60 Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs), is set to defect to the BJP, potentially leading to a collapse of the current government. Kumaraswamy, adding an air of uncertainty, suggests that unforeseen events may transpire in the near future.

 

Let's have a look at both the successful and the unsuccessful alleged operations of the BJP to topple the Congress-led state governments. Drawing parallels with BJP strategies in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, where efforts to sow discord among aspiring Chief Ministers resulted in internal turmoil, the party appears to be employing similar tactics in Karnataka. The repercussions were evident as the Gehlot government and the Baghel government grappled with internal dissent, led to governance challenges and eventual electoral setbacks for the Congress in Rajasthan and Chattisgarh, respectively.

 

The BJP successfully had executed "Operation Lotus" in Madhya Pradesh. But the political landscape in Karnataka presents unique challenges. Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivkumar, due to his history of being targeted by central agencies and experiencing incarceration, may not be as receptive to joining the BJP. This differs from the readiness of other second-ranking Congress leaders in various states to switch allegiances despite facing agency inquiries; Himanta, Scindia to name a few. 

 

The distinction lies in the personal impact of legal actions on DK and in his imprisonment, making him less likely to align with the BJP. H.D. Kumaraswamy's insinuations about a potential rebellion in Karnataka may not necessarily involve DK Shivkumar directly. There is a possibility, albeit remote, that Kumaraswamy is alluding to the actions of another minister to exert pressure on Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. Despite the challenges, Siddaramaiah appears to be addressing this pressure by making popular decisions, such as mandating signboards only in the Kannada language, and appeasing minorities by lifting the ban on Hijabs. The unfolding political dynamics in Karnataka continue to be marked by uncertainty and strategic maneuvering


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