Karnataka’s expensive politics
Karnataka assembly elections are being described as the most expensive elections. It is learned that each MLA has spent up to Rs 50 crore each for fighting the election. While the cash that was seized from the moment election notification was released was Rs. 100 crores, it is estimated that thousands of crores reached their destination. It is an open secret why so much of money is circulated.
It is true that Congress to retain power, Bharatiya Janata Party for a footing in South, and JDS to become a kingmaker have spent a huge amount of money. While no political party openly speaks the truth regarding election spending, everyone knows how much each MLA has spent.
How are the MLAs’ going to get their money back? According to a political analyst, “The candidate who lost the election will weep at the counting center, while the winner goes home and sobs.” That is true. It is not easy to secure the money spent in politics. Lady luck should smile at them. However, it appears lady luck is being generous towards the MLAs’ in Karnataka.
The tragedy is, the voter did not give a clear mandate to any party. While 112 is the magic figure, BJP is away from it with 104 seats. Congress has to satisfy itself with 78 seats. With this, JDS which won 38 seats has emerged as a kingmaker. Meanwhile, BJP is busy strategizing to split JDS. BJP is arguing that 12 JDS MLAs’ are with them. BJP is baiting JDS chief’s eldest son Revanna.
Meanwhile, every party is trying its best to keep their flock together. Rumors are doing rounds that the price fixed for each MLA in Karnataka is around Rs 100 crores. If this gossip is true, it would be a record price for an MLA in the country. The opposition party of Andhra Pradesh had been alleging that ruling Telugu Desam Party had bought its MLAs’ spending 20 to 30 crores. There were similar allegations in Telangana too.
Whatever it might be, Karnataka MLAs seem to be hitting a jackpot. Some MLAs are said to be feeling that they won’t even need ministerial berths if they are paid 100 crores, while some people are demanding Rs. 150 crores. On the whole, resort politics are rife in Karnataka. Gossip mills say that Congress party is sending some MLAs’ to Andhra Pradesh.