If the Congress had managed to retain at least five or six of the 12 seats that they held before the by-polls of December 5 in Karnataka, party leader and former chief minister Siddaramaiah could have dubbed it: ‘By-poll Bhagya.’ For, every major scheme and plan that he came up with in his tenure of 5 years that ended in 2018 was dubbed some ‘Bhagya’ or the other, which could mean either fortune or blessing in Kannada.
However, like all of Siddaramaiah’s Bhagyas, all his planning, scheming and design ended up with hardly anything to show in the by-elections. Chief minister, B S Yediyurappa, will now head a BJP government that holds full majority, with 117 MLAs in the Karnataka assembly of 224—four more than the ‘magic number’ of 113. The BJP would consider this an endorsement of their stand that they always deserved to form the government as the single largest party that won 104 of the seats in the 2018 assembly election.
Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, upbeat with the Karnataka results, has made statements that reinforce this stand. In contrast, Siddaramaiah and Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee President Dinesh Gundu Rao have submitted their resignations and have publicly accepted defeat. The Janata Dal (Secular), king and kingmaker, in the last one year of political instability, thanks to the swiftly cobbled-together alliance between them and the Congress that made Gowda’s son, H D Kumaraswamy, the chief minister in 2018, did not manage to win even one of the three seats that they held before the by-elections.