There has been frenetic political activity in Karnataka ever since its Assembly elections ended in a hung verdict on Tuesday.
The Bharatiya Janata Party emerged as the single-largest party with 104 seats, but fell short of the majority mark of 112, prompting the Congress (78 seats) to scurry and make a deal with the Janata Dal (Secular), which had 37 seats. Then, both sides had to rush to convince Governor Vajubhai Vala to that they were the right choice for a stable government.
Vala went with the BJP eventually and on Wednesday night invited the party’s chief ministerial candidate BS Yedyurappa to form the government. Yedyurappa now has 15 days to prove that he has majority backing on the floor of the Assembly.
These many twists and turns have captured the imagination of India’s political cartoonists. Through satire, they have captured how both the Congress and the BJP have at different points been at an arm’s length of victory, only to see the prize snatched away from them.
In the fortnight that follows, the Congress and the Janata Dal will do their best to thwart the BJP from proving its majority, while the saffron party will do its best to win over disgruntled MLAs from Opposition camps. The horse-trading that is likely to follow has caught the attention of many cartoonists.
A hung verdict has ensured that voter’s mandate has been rendered inconsequential, as cartoonist Shekhar Gurera points out.
Meanwhile, Hemant Morparia pokes fun at Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s attempt at a soft Hindutva strategy to take on the BJP.
The Janata Dal (Secular) has emerged the most important piece of the puzzle.