After Goa, Manipur and Now Karnataka, Do Smaller Parties Play a Pivotal Role in Government Formation at Times of Hung Assembly?
BJP (Representational image | (Photo Credit: PTI)

Mumbai, May 16: It has been proved time and again that smaller parties play a pivotal role during hung assembly. Earlier in Goa and Manipur, though BJP stood second against Congress, by shaking hands with smaller parties, BJP managed to form the government.

In Goa, the legislative assembly had a total of 40 seats. The ruling BJP experienced a major blow as it only managed to score 13 seats, while Congress won 21 seats. But, BJP teamed up with smaller parties and independent candidates to prove their majority, in a bid to keep Congress away from ruling the region. Similarly, in Manipur, BJP adopted the same strategy.

Now again in Karnataka, though the Janata Dal Secular JD(S) bagged only 42 seats out of 132 field candidates and emerged as one of the smallest parties, it still turned out to be a kingmaker. Today JD(S) has become a crucial factor for any party to form its government. However, all these instances have raised a question: Does the mandate given by people have any value? Smaller parties seem to be orchestrated in the formation of a government when no parties get a full majority.

The parties which have been rejected by people in a democracy are seen dominating the regions, is this, not a threat when India talks about democracy and its voting power in other countries? Shiv Sena, one of the dominant parties in Maharashtra state politics, also pointed out the same. Sanjay Raut MP of Shiv Sena party said that its sad for democracy as the single largest parties have to sit in opposition and on the contrary, smaller parties rule the region, adding that they also get the CM position, point in case JD(S).

After JD(S) confirmed its support to Congress for the alliance, the party has been given the chief ministerial post as part of its settlement, a move which has been called as opportunistic by the BJP. IT Minister Ravishankar Prasad has slammed JD(S) for extending their support to the Congress. In retaliation,  JD(S) and Congress have levelled allegation against BJP of horsetrading. HD Kumaraswamy made a jaw-dropping accusation that BJP is offering a bribe of Rs. 100 crore to their winning legislators so they can give their support to BJP. While there are also reports that Congress and JD(S) may move to apex court against BJP for giving bribe to their MLAs.