Coalition experiments haven’t worked in Karnataka. That much has remained constant in a state reeling from political flux over the past months, if not years. When the BJP defeated H.D. Kumaraswamy’s JD(S)-Congress coalition government at Tuesday’s trust vote, it was the third time in 13 years that a ruling alliance had lost the number game. Now, with former chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa back in the driver’s seat, the BJP gets a second shot at ruling Karnataka.
The denouement itself was laced with irony—it was Kumaraswamy who brought down the Congress-JD(S) coalition, headed by Dharam Singh, in 2006 when he led a faction of his party to a pact with Yeddyurappa. Twenty months later, when Kumaraswamy reneged on that pact to transfer power to the BJP, the second coalition fell. This time around, it was a group of rebels that pulled his 14-month-old government down.