Wannabe CMs send BJP on Karnataka suicide mission
By Express News Service - BANGALORE
Published: 01st Jul 2012 08:21:07 AM
In New Delhi, the BJP has many individuals who want to be Prime Minister. But none of them can lead the party to victory. Karnataka is just following the leaders.
The state has many chief ministers—proxy, real and self-imagined, but it seems to have no leaders. Disgraced former CM B S Yeddyurappa—his return to the chair foiled by the law—now wants foe-turned-friend Jagdish Shettar as the CM, replacing his friend-turned-foe, Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda. Meanwhile, its not just Shettar who wants to be boss. The pro-Gowda BJP state president K S Eshwarappa, has also projected himself as a contender. BJP MP and general secretary Ananth Kumar, Yeddy’s arch rival, is supporting Gowda for now; however, he has just moved house citing ‘vaastu’ compulsions, which has fueled speculation in Bangalore that he is also a chief ministerial contender. The BJP in the state is in self-destruct mode with ministers resigning and seeking Gowda’s ouster.
Their mentor, Yeddyurappa has been busy offering prayers at the Nimishamba Temple in Srirangapatna and Chamundeshwari Temple in Mysore. His explanation—it’s not to become CM, but to pray for a bountiful harvest. After sowing the seeds of rebellion, Yeddy is challenging the BJP high command to act. For now, it states that any decision on the CM will be taken only after the Presidential elections. BJP general secretary in charge of Karnataka affairs Dharmendra Pradhan said, “The leadership is in touch with all important Karnataka leaders.” Meanwhile, like his tormentor, Gowda has been in touch with God as well; on the day of resignations, he ran to Nimnishamba and Chamundeshwari temples. Like Yeddy, he too had prayed for a bountiful harvest. “Dissidence is like a tide,” he waxed philosophical,” and politics is like an ocean; it cannot exist without waters.”
The government and the state are in deep waters. Trying to turn the tide against the chief minster are the eight ministers who quit demanding his sacking. They met Yeddyurappa late last week to plan their next moves. However, ministers and MLAs loyal to the party and the chief minister, have threatened to bring down the government if there is any such move. Municipal Administration Minister Balachandra Jarkiholi threatened to play a “suicide bomber” and uproot the first BJP government in the state if Sadananda Gowda was changed to appease Yeddyurappa. He said that the current dispensation under Gowda has been performing well and not a single controversy has been reported in his regime. “How can the party high command contemplate a change of leadership when the administration is running smoothly?” he added.
In the event of a change, the Gowda camp is likely to rally behind BJP state president K S Eshwarappa. In Shimoga, Eshwarappa hinted that he was also an aspirant for the CM’s post in case push came to shove. “Many ministers and MLAs want me to become chief minister. But I am not a contender for the post. As far as my knowledge goes, change of leadership is not on the cards,” he said.