Secret agent: on JD(S) in Karnataka polls: The Hindu Editorial

Secret agent: on JD(S) in Karnataka polls: The Hindu Editorial

Secret agent: on JD(S) in Karnataka polls: The Hindu Editorial

A kingmaker with only one option is no kingmaker at all. The Janata Dal (Secular) is probably headed for a third-place finish in Karnataka but is banking on making its seats count in a hung Assembly, which many opinion pollssuggest is likely. The party’s ‘secular’ outlook did not prevent it from partnering in a coalition government with the Bharatiya Janata Party in 2006; notwithstanding the protestations of patriarch H.D. Deve Gowda, another such arrangement between the two parties cannot be ruled out. Mr. Gowda likes to put all the blame on his younger son, H.D. Kumaraswamy, for the 2006 partnership and vows it will not be repeated. But the reasons that drove the party to join hands with the BJP at that time have not disappeared now. The support bases of the two parties are in different regions, with the JD(S) confined to Mysuru and southern Karnataka where the Vokkaligas have a strong presence. The BJP relies heavily on the Lingayat vote in north and central Karnataka. Therefore, neither party is fearful of conceding space to the other. The Congress remains the principal rival for both. Although the 2006 experiment ended badly with Mr. Kumaraswamy refusing to keep his end of the bargain, senior BJP leaders are not likely to let the past hold the future hostage. Indeed, Prime Minister Narendra Modi indicated as much when he praised Mr. Gowda and sought to blame Congress president Rahul Gandhi for not showing the JD(S) leader enough respect. This might have been intended to send separate signals to JD(S) leaders and the BJP cadre. One, that the BJP is still willing to do business with the JD(S). Two, that in constituencies where the fight is between the Congress and the JD(S), the BJP, rather than finish a close third, would have the JD(S) win. Not surprisingly, both Mr. Gowda and Mr. Kumaraswamy have sought to downplay Mr. Modi’s remarks. Too much proximity to the BJP prior to the election is not going to help the JD(S), which would like to keep its supporters interested in the contest as a three-way fight. Prior to its coalition with the BJP, the JD(S) had indeed been in a coalition with the Congress, but the prospects for such a situation have dimmed in the years since. In addition to its concerns of the Congress encroaching on its political space, the JD(S) has one other difficulty: the rise of Siddaramaiah in the Congress. The Karnataka Chief Minister was earlier a front-ranking leader of the JD(S), and his rebellion remains a sore point with Mr. Gowda and his son. But depending on the nature of the verdict, it will not be averse to building bridges with a Congress without Mr. Siddaramaiah, even if only to increase its bargaining position with the BJP. Without doubt, the JD(S) is the unknown agent in the political mix.

LEARN VOCABULARY FROM THE HINDU EDITORIAL

1) Probably
Meaning: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell.
Example: “She would probably never see him again”
Synonyms: Possibly, Perhaps.
2) Hung
Meaning: (Of an elected body) having no political party with an overall majority.
Example: “A hung parliament”
3) Polls
Meaning: The process of voting in an election.
Example: “The country went to the polls on March 10”
Synonyms: Vote, Ballot.
4) Coalition
Meaning: A temporary alliance for combined action, especially of political parties forming a government.
Example: “A coalition between Liberals and Conservatives”
Synonyms: Alliance, Union.
5) Protestation
Meaning: An objection or protest.
Example: “He was warned by the referee for his loud protestations”
Synonyms: Objection, Protest.
6) Patriarch
Meaning: A powerful and usually older man in charge of a family, or the male leader of a society in which men hold power.
7) Ruled out
Meaning: Exclude, eliminate.
Example: Heavy rain ruled out the picnic.
8) Vows
Meaning: Solemnly promise to do a specified thing.
Example: “The rebels vowed to continue fighting”
Synonyms: Pledge, Promise.
9) Drove
Meaning: Urge or force (animals or people) to move in a specified direction.
Example: “They drove a flock of sheep through the centre of the city”
Synonyms: Impel, Urge.
10) Confined
Meaning: (Of a space) restricted in area or volume; cramped.
Example: “Her fear of confined spaces”
Synonyms: Restricted, Limited
11) Rely
Meaning: Depend on with full trust or confidence.
Example: “I know I can rely on your discretion”
Synonyms: Depend, Count.
12) Conceding
Meaning: Amit or agree that something is true after first denying or resisting it.
Example: “I had to concede that I’d overreacted”
Synonyms: Admit, Acknowledge.
13) Hostage
Meaning: A person seized or held as security for the fulfilment of a condition.
Example: “They were held hostage by armed rebels”
Synonyms: Captive, Prisoner.
14) Intended
Meaning: Planned or meant.
Example: “The intended victim escaped”
Synonyms: Deliberate, Intentional.
15) Sought
Meaning: To ask for advice, help, approval, permission, etc.
Example: Legal advice should be sought before you take any further action.
16) Downplay
Meaning: Make (something) appear less important than it really is.
Example: “This report downplays the seriousness of global warming”
17) Proximity
Meaning: Nearness in space, time, or relationship.
Example: “Do not operate microphones in close proximity to television sets”
Synonyms: Closeness, Nearness.
18) Dimmed
Meaning: Make or become less bright or distinct.
Example: “A smoky inferno that dimmed the sun”
Synonyms: Fade, Dull.
19) Encroaching
Meaning: Intrude on (a person’s territory, rights, personal life, etc.).
Example: “Rather than encroach on his privacy she might have kept to her room”
Synonyms: Intrude, Trespass.
20) Rebellion
Meaning: An act of armed resistance to an established government or leader.
Example: “The authorities put down a rebellion by landless colonials”
Synonyms: Revolt, Insurrection.
21) Sore point
Meaning: An issue about which someone feels distressed or annoyed and which it is therefore advisable to avoid raising with them.
Example: Don’t ask him about the job search – it’s a bit of a sore point.
22) Averse
Meaning: Having a strong dislike of or opposition to something.
Example: “As a former CIA director, he is not averse to secrecy”
Synonyms: Opposed to, Against.
23) Bargaining
Meaning: Negotiate the terms and conditions of a transaction.
Example: “He bargained with the local council to rent the stadium”
Synonyms: Haggle, Barter.

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