2007 will be remembered as one of the most disastrous years in Karnataka's political history. Politics fell to shocking depths in the state, more famous for being a hub for Information Technology and a pensioners' paradise.
The rumblings had begun in 2004, with the Bharatiya Janata Party emerging as the single largest party with 79 seats after the assembly election. However democracy was redefined as both the Congress with 64 seats and the Janata Dal-Secular with 57 seats formed a government which lasted just over a year.
Dharam Singh, the Congress leader, became chief minister with the blessings of H D Deve Gowda, the JD-S chief, who was India's prime minister for a little over a year in 1996 and liked to be known as 'the humble farmer who became prime minister'.
Dharam Singh's honeymoon was rudely cut short when Deve Gowda's son H D Kumaraswamy staged a coup.
He compromised on the JD-S's declared 'secular' ideology and split the party. 42 MLAs defected from the JD-S and formed a government with the BJP. Gowda senior was vocal about his displeasure, but later realised that power was stayed within the family and gradually consented. Out went Dharam Singh and in came Gowda junior.
Both the JD-S and BJP agreed to share power for 20 months each, with Kumaraswamy being chief minister for the first term. The government had its share of problems, but it pulled through for the first 20 months.
Image: H D Kumaraswamy, left, and BJP leader B S Yeddyurappa in February 2006. Text: Vicky Nanjappa. Photographs: Dibyangshu Sarkar/AFP/Getty Images
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