Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Hung Assembly in Karnataka Will Further Intensify the Political Crisis of the Bourgeois Rulers!

- Rajesh Tyagi/ 15.5.2018 

Out of the total 224 seats in Karnataka Assembly, results of 222 that went for polls, are on the board. Election was cancelled in two constituencies.

While BJP has claimed 104 seats with 46.9% vote share, INC could beg only 78 with 34.4% vote share. JD(S), now a post poll ally of Congress, secured 38 seats with 16.5% vote share. Independents and others were squeezed at 2 seats and 1.3% votes in total.

Results are not unexpected as many pre-poll surveys have predicted the same in closest approximation, beforehand.

BJP is a big gainer in the poll fray. It has recorded a big jump in its seat share from 40 in 2013 to 104 in 2018, i.e. a whopping rise of 64 seats. Congress is loser from 122 to 78. JD (S) is also at loss of 2 seats, from 40 to 38. Other parties including the independents that secured 22 seats in 2013, stand marginalized at 2, this time.

While BSP of Mayawati got one seat, other Parties like Kejriwal's Aam Admi Party and Yogendra Yadav's Swaraj Abhiyan, that contested on numerous seats, got their securities forfeited on these seats.

Despite its spectacular advance to 104, BJP still falls short of 112 seats, necessary for form the government. The Karnataka house thus remains hung as no party would be able to form the government on its own.

In a dramatic move, Congress has thrown its weight behind its minority ally JD (S) in the post poll alliance, ostensibly to keep BJP at bay. The Congress and JD(S) combine closing to more than 116 seats together, with the help of independents, have safely crossed the mark of 112 to get a majority in the house. Nagesh, an independent winner, has accompanied Congress leader D.K. Shivakumar to Governor House to declare his support to the INC.

Being leader of the single largest winning party BJP and zealously speculating upon horse-trading inside the house, BJP leader and former Chief Minister of Karnataka, Yedurappa, an accused in numerous scams during his party rule, has staked the claim for forming the Government in the State. It is clear that with 104 seats in the hands of his party, Yedurappa cannot form a government except through magic wand of corrupt means. 

Yedurappa and his Party- BJP- that had been claiming on high moral grounds while in opposition, have left no stone unturned in the past to turn the tables in their favour, while applying most corrupt means on the floors of legislatures.

Accompanied by senior BJP leader Ananth Kumar and before entering the Raj Bhawan to meet the Governor of Karnataka to advance his claim to form the government, Yedurappa, told the reporters in no ambiguous terms, “I am going to form the government hundred percent”.

This confidence of Yedurappa and the open and shameless claim that he made to the press about forming the minority government, only shows the complete decay of bourgeois state institutions.

Inside bourgeois parties, there has been no dearth of those who would be ready to sell themselves at the first call, in exchange for money and ministerial berths. Under the heat of bucks, all bourgeois morality, evaporates into thin air in no time!

Despite the anti-defection law on the statute book that prohibits floor crossing, the same has been rampant practice on the floors of bourgeois legislatures, over many decades. The legal hurdle is easily overcome through a split if more than one third of the MLAs defect in a row. 

The government under Siddharamaiya that staged victory in the last elections over its nearest rival BJP, with good margin, got discredited in the estimation of the masses as it has since then continued to work for big business and big investors in the State. It’s all out endeavour has been to make the cities of Karnataka a hub for investment in IT and IT related sectors to mince maximum profits for the corporate. The sufferers under this axe of liberalisation and profiteering are obviously the poor, the marginalised, the workers and peasants, who never found any place on the agenda of Siddaramiya and his party.

Karnataka is home to all powerful quarry mafia lobbies that are notorious to control the political apparatus of the state from behind the screen. These lobbies feed all the mainstream political parties from left to right alongside a whole stream of media and other social organisations. 

It was no surprise when the left leaning paper- Tehelka- was nailed with links to these lobbies after it's controversial Goa Litfest was exposed to have been sponsored by them. Tehelka and its now incarcerated Editor in a molestation case, Tarun Tejpal, in turn are known to be behind the fortunes earned by Arundhati. Similarly, the slain journalist Gauri Lankesh acted as front-woman in media for Congress leader Siddaramiya. 

These psuedo-lefts have permitted themselves to be used as cloaks to cover up the class character of bourgeois leaders and instead impart them with a democratic facade. Stalinists, in turn, have associated themselves with these 'lefts' to get adhered to the left sections of the bourgeoisie. This has created immense confusion among the ranks of the politically unconscious workers and youth, blurring all vision as to the political divisions between left and right.

A whole barrage of those booked for corruption and crime, had contested the Assembly elections on panels of all the three political parties, while many of them have secured win with good margins. 

While the notorious quarry mafia dons, Reddy brothers of Bellary, had thrown all their weight behind BJP in the elections, seven of whom were contesting on BJP tickets and four won, Siddaramiya was supported by other quarry mafias like Anil Lad, BS Anand Singh and B.Nagendra, all of whom had contested Assembly polls on Congress tickets and are close friends and associates of Reddy brothers. 

It would not be exaggeration to say that the Assembly elections in Karnataka were subjected to the political maneuver of these mafia gangs to capture the state power and use it to their nefarious ends. Irrespective of which party forms the government in Karnataka, it is the Bellary mafia that would rule the roost in State politics. 

With these mafia dons polled in to Karnataka Assembly, the bourgeois democracy stands totally exposed as the political host to the trojan horses of crime and corruption.

Buoyed by Karnataka election results, BJP president Amit Shah today asserted that the party’s winning streak will continue and it will win all polls from now on, including the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

While BJP has all reasons to celebrate its decisive lead in Karnataka Assembly Polls, the fact goes that in the triangular contest both the BJP and the Congress have lost to their rivals, majority of the seats that they held in the last Assembly.

The pro-capitalist governments of the BJP and the Congress, which have ruled at the centre and the state respectively, were discredited completely for that they oversaw the implementation of the very same neo-liberal policies during the tenures of anti-people regimes under them. One after the other they have carried forward the same policy regime oriented to profiteers and speculators. 

Despite all this so apparent drudgery, people could see no alternative to the ruling class parties and were forced by default to vote for one party against the other. There was a huge vote diversion to NOTA option where the voters have opted out of all the given choices to them.

In its poll propaganda, BJP has been proclaiming that Karnataka is one of the last castles of Congress that need be demolished to hit its proclaimed target of a ‘Congress Free India’. In this, top BJP leaders Narendra Modi and Amit Shah had been making clever move to exploit the long piled-up mass anger and direct it against the decades old misrule of Congress, as after 47 it is the Congress that has done most of the heavy weightlifting to implement the regime of capitalism. In its turn, Congress has made its own moves to derive optimum advantage from the aggravating frustration of the electorate against the four year old rule of the BJP led government at the centre.

Capitalist parties and their leaders look at the elections as an opportunity to get the licence to milk the workers and toilers for a fair term of five years. No stone was thus left unturned by the rival parties in the cut-throat run up to the capture of power in the state. Everything at their disposal, from money and muscle power to abuses and bigotry was pressed into service.

While BJP played its nationalist, zingoist and ever more sectarian communal cards in the elections, Siddaramiah and his Congress Party made zealous attempts at soft peddling the hindutva plank. Granting minority status to Lingayats, Siddaramiya, offered sops to woo the community. While tapping the Kannada regional chauvinist sentiments, Siddaramiya’s party attempted to fan cynical opposition to Hindi language, months ahead of the elections. Congress President Rahul Gandhi and Siddaramiya, both had offered public prayers in temples to appease the conservative minded electorate. Congress leaders made every attempt to appeal to the confirmist and diehard, backward mass sentiments of the people.

Corrupt and criminal ruling elites of Karnataka, 
above all, are the touts to world capital for sellout of the raw materials and human resources of the state. Whatever party they may belong to, their role remains the same- offering the cheap labour and natural resources in the state to foreign and domestic capital for easy exploitation and to oversee that no resistance is offered by the working class to its exploitation. 

Cities of Karnataka, are hubs for IT and IT related industry that offers only sweatshop conditions and very low wages to the workers while churning huge profits for the corporate. IT industry in Karnataka is directly linked to the world market and contributes a lot to the state treasuries alongside immense profits to the corporate. Karnataka is a big beneficiary of this crude exploitation of the working class.

Karnataka has long borders with the state of Kerala where Stalinist CPM led Left front is in power and has been ruling alternatively for decades. Despite this, the Stalinist left was completely decimated in the elections. Largest Party of the Stalinist left, CPI(M) could hardly muster a meager 77560 votes, while 286930 have gone to NOTA alone.

Despite huge presence of the working class in the state, the Stalinists have no political ground among the working class in Karnataka state. They have never even seriously made any attempt to mobilize the workers in cities of Karnataka. Their rule in Kerala, where they have implemented the same neo-liberal policies like elsewhere in India, inspires no confidence in the working class around it.

Stalinist leaders have organized themselves into trade union bureaucracies and everywhere have appeared either as brokers between the labour and capital or straightway as strike breakers. Two years before when the militant strikes of garment workers in Bengaluru, the capital city of Karnataka, have shaken the state to its hilt, Stalinist leaders did nothing for the workers and tried to isolate the struggle.

Stalinists are hostile to all independent action and mobilization of the working class. Their role lies in subjugating the working class to trade union bureaucracies that in turn bind them eternally to the establishment of capitalism.

Instead of challenging the capitalist regime in the state and the country as a whole, the Stalinists have kept sitting, decade after decade, on the tails of the successive rightwing bourgeois governments and the parties and leaders 
of different shades, calling them democratic and secular. In the garb of opposition to the BJP, Stalinists have sought to ally with all rightwing bourgeois parties from Congress to RJD, SP, BSP, TDP and Muslim League. 

Recently the Congresses of all major Stalinist Parties in India- CPI, CPM and CPI ML Liberation- have cleared the path to political alliances with Congress and other rightwing casteist, communal and regionalist bourgeois parties in the forthcoming polls to parliament in 2019. Reiterating the Menshevik-Stalinist recipe of 'popular frontism', their dubious resolutions present these alliances with bourgeois parties and leaders as the only viable option to fascist BJP. 

Stalinists pay only lip service to marxism in so far as they deny to grant the pivotal role to the working class in the fight against fascism and isolate this fight from the overall class struggle of the working class against capitalism. On the contrary, Stalinists disarm the workers in this struggle by subordinating them to the parties and leaders of bourgeoisie in bogus political alliances.

Stalinists have consciously worked to block the emergence of revolutionary alternative to the class politics of big capitalists. They have tied the hands of the working class and the youth to the false notions of democracy under leadership of bourgeois leaders and parties and have prevented the working class from challenging the political rule of the big capitalists.

The role of the Stalinist left, despite all of its pretensions, lies in subordinating the youth and workers to the parties and leaders of capitalism and destroying their ability to open an independent and decisive political offensive against capitalism. In their vicious grip, the working class is smothered to political paralyses and is reduced to mute spectator to political stunts of capitalist leaders.

As Karnataka elections have shown, Stalinist left is 
turned into tutelages of the capitalist leaders and parties under them. Their role is reduced to pitiable cheerleader to the political sports of capitalist leaders, everywhere.

The rise of the BJP, the extreme rightwing party of capitalism, in the Southern state of India, must however, ring the alarm bells for us as a matter of serious concern. This rise, shows beyond all pale of doubt that the liberal bourgeois parties like Congress cannot present a deterrent to fascists. Their corrupt misrule, would rather facilitate the rise of fascism to power. 

Once in power, no parliamentary maneuvers can bring down fascists. Fascists may use the ladder of bourgeois democracy to climb to power, but they hoot care of it. It is not Parliament but the streets where fascists can be fought against and defeated. 

Only working class can form the pivot of a resistance movement that can bring down the fascist government. Workers’ committees and general strikes are the weapons that can head-off fascism.

The elections in Karnataka and even the advance of BJP, would not, however, resolve the political crisis of the ruling class. Its offshoot- the hung Assembly in Karnataka- would intensify the already gripping political crisis of the ruling bourgeoisie with ramifications all over the country. 

Fascists may be the gainers of this crisis only if revolutionary forces fail miserably to intervene.

There exists no revolutionary force except the proletariat. Its mobilization is the key to revolution. The proletariat must present its answer to the crisis of the bourgeoisie. To do this, it’s advanced elements must come together in the fight for realization of the program of permanent revolution and must organize into the Marxist party of the revolution- Workers’ Socialist Party.

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