Soon after BS Yeddyurappa resigned as the chief minister of Karnataka on Saturday, the demand for a combined third front yet again gained steam. The Opposition parties while congratulating the Congress-Janata Dal Secular (JDS) alliance of defeating the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), called it a victory of the regional front.
Among the first to congratulate the Congress-JDS alliance was West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Taking to Twitter, she said: "Democracy wins. Congratulations Karnataka. Congratulations DeveGowda Ji, Kumaraswamy Ji, Congress and others. Victory of the 'regional' front." Congress-JDS CM candidate HD Kumaraswamy spoke to Mamata soon after the result and invited her for the swearing-in ceremony that is due to take place on Wednesday.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu also hailed Yeddyurappa's resignation. "Resignation of BS Yeddyurappa as Karnataka's CM is a true victory for democracy. Entire nation is happy with the current turn of events. As a Chief Minister and a firm believer of democracy, I am expressing my happiness," he said.
Congratulating the JDS, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam working president MK Stalin hoped that the result in Karnataka paves the way for secular parties to come together and fight the upcoming elections. "Democracy in Karnataka has been saved by the actions of the Supreme Court. I extend my congratulations to @hd_kumaraswamy and @INCIndia. May this herald the coming together of secular parties for the upcoming elections," he said.
Two days after forming government in Karnataka, BJP had to pull the plug on Saturday when it could not gather the required number of MLAs to prove its strength in the Assembly. An emotional Yeddyurappa resigned and lamented that the political situation could have been different if the people of the state made them win on just a few more seats. Having won 104 seats, the BJP had fallen short of the magic number of 112 by a narrow margin.
The result going against the BJP has enthused the Congress and the regional players. In the past too, several regional parties have renewed the demand for a third front to defeat the saffron party. Now, the Karnataka results have given a glimpse to the regional parties and the Congress on what could happen if a combined opposition takes on the BJP. A contest between the Congress and all regional parties on one side and the BJP and its allies on the other side may put the saffron party significantly on the backfoot in 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
There have been several meetings between the regional players and the Congress, however, an arrangement on the equation has not been found yet. With the Congress proposing Kumaraswamy's name for the CM post despite having bagged more seats, it seems that the sole aim of the Congress at the present is to defeat the BJP, by all means.