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Overnight political coup in Maharashtra by Ajit Pawar and his loyals in his party Nationalistic Congress Party reminds of a similar gameplan that Karnataka witnessed in 2004.

The elections to the state assembly was over and no single party had a clear mandate of the people to form the government. In absence of any pre-poll arrangement, the two major political parties–JD(S) and Congress came together to form the government under the chief ministership of N Dharma Singh. 

However, two years later of being in power, a faction of the JD(S) led by HD Kumaraswamy rebelled against his father HD Deve Gowda and pulled out several MLAs along with him of the JD(S) to become Chief Minister of the state. The former Prime Minister and his father HD Deve Gowda disapproved him publicly for his action.

HD Kumaraswamy along with the support of BJP formed the government. He became the Chief Minister while BS Yediyurappa, the Deputy Chief Minister. Gowda called the alliance unholy and publicly disowned his son. 

After two years of forming the government, when it was Yediyurappa’s turn to become the Chief Minister as per the rotational arrangement of their coalition, Kumaraswamy again pulled out, this time from BJP which led to the fall of the government and imposition of President’s rule. Later in re-election Yediyurappa rode the sympathy wave and became the Chief Minister. 

Political pundits, however, were of the opinion, though Gowda disappeared from politics after his son’s rebellion and claimed he has no role in splitting the party and going with ‘communal’ forces, it was Deve Gowda who was the chief architect of the entire plot to make his son the Chief Minister of the state and masked it as his son’s betrayal.

The remarkable semblance between the two political events has made many not to buy Sharad Pawar’s claim of having no role in his nephew Ajit’s betrayal.


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