Governance comes to a standstill as political crisis grips Karnataka

Karnataka, MLAs resignations, The Federal, English news website
Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy during the assembly session at Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru. Photo: PTI

Even as the political crisis in Karnataka worsened with the number of MLA resignations reaching 18 as of Wednesday, the crisis has taken a toll on administration and governance in the state.

Work has come to a standstill in the departments of education, water resources department, agriculture and civic administration due to the instability of the government. While there has been a drinking water crisis in the state due to a weak southwest monsoon this year, the drought relief work, which was earlier postponed due to the Lok Sabha elections, were further delayed. Farmers wait for the government to take action against erring sugarcane companies for not paying them on time, but the government hasn’t offered a solution yet.

With the beginning of a new academic session, the education department recently had to deal with delays in distribution of books as well as bicycles and laptops under respective schemes, while simultaneously handling the teachers’ strike. The state government appointed an education minister only last month after a gap of eight months, during the cabinet expansion.

“On July 9 about 90 per cent of the government schools in the state were shut. The teachers protested seeking resolution on salary hike and transfers. The government had to resolve issues on school fee hikes. All these tasks involve government decisions which they’ve failed to resolve,” VP Niranjan Aradhya, fellow at the Centre for Child and the Law, National Law School of India University, Bengaluru said.

Meanwhile, farmers in Mandya demanded the government to release water from Cauvery and asked it to take action on erring cane companies which have not paid them since last year.

The drought relief funds hadn’t reached panchayats and it affected the agriculture department’s works.

“Many of the bills were pending clearance from the government. Unless we get those cleared, it was difficult for us to call for next tenders. Be it for supply for drought resistant seeds or agriculture equipment under various schemes, we want certain approvals and it’s all pending,” an agriculture department official on condition of anonymity said.

While there were no important legislations that were waiting to be passed, the Assembly sessions that were to start on July 12 was expected to witness discussions on Cauvery water sharing, drought situation in the state and the JSW land deal among others.

However, with the current political crisis, one is not sure if the Assembly sessions will be allowed to continue.

Commenting on the development, BJP MLA Suresh Kumar from Bangalore said the administration had come to a standstill.

“The Congress-JD(S) government is not able to handle the pressure. They are neither able to deliver nor accept the defeat. The government is just hanging and it has largely affected the people on ground,” Kumar said.

Meanwhile, political analysts opined that the situation remained very much the same as it was a year ago when the Congress-JD(S) came to power with a simple majority.

“In the last one year the government hasn’t delivered anything promising. The only big announcement that came in was the farm loan waiver but the implementation and delivery of it failed them,” said political analyst and researcher Harish Ramaswamy.

Also read: BJP may offer rebel K’taka MLAs cabinet berths, but constitution doesn’t