Sheep campaign and a tamarind tree

Sheep campaign_0_0_0
Pic: Deccan Chronicle

We have heard of some very bizarre superstitions that the candidates from Karnataka followed while filing their nominations for the Karnataka Assembly Elections. The scene during the campaign trail is also no different and there are two interesting aspects to this effect which have been found at Haveri and Shirahatti both in Northern Karnataka. Continue reading “Sheep campaign and a tamarind tree”

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Party hopping galore in Karanataka

KARVOTESParty hopping appears to be the norm during these elections in Karnataka. While it was obvious that many candidates who have been denied tickets would cross over into other parties, the more interesting aspect is the ploy by some BJP leaders who are all set to cross over once the elections are over.
It was surprising when Basavaraj Bommai, Umesh Katti and Murugesh Nirani refused to quit the BJP and join B S Yeddyurappa’s Karnataka Janatha Party. The three most loyal horses of Yeddyurappa chose to stay back in the BJP and contest the elections.

Continue reading “Party hopping galore in Karanataka”

Reddy brother in BJP list

The much a has awaited list of the Bharatiya Janata Party in Karnataka is finally out and interestingly the list figures the name of Karunakar Reddy one of the Reddy brothers from Bellary.

Karunakar Reddy whose loyal aide, Sriramulu had broken away from the BJP has been given a ticket from Harapanahalli in Davangere. The BJP has been careful to avoid giving him a ticket from Bellary as they do not want the mining issue cropping up. Many had expected Karunakar Reddy whose name figured in the mining scam to join Sriramulu’s BSR Congress. He was very much seen with Sriramulu when he had won the by-election after breaking away from the BJP. However Reddy was clear that he would remain in the BJP and this finally earned him a ticket.

The BJP has been a bit cautious where former minister, Katta Subramanya Naidu and Krishnaiah Shetty are concerned. Both have allegations of corruption against them and Naidu had even been sent to jail. Their names have not figured in the first list and despite both being sure shot winning candidates, the BJP will take time and decide if they would want to include them in the second list only.

The other highlights of the BJP list are that 80 out of the 82 sitting MLAs have been given tickets. After releasing the list, BJP leader Ananth Kumar said that the BJP is in a position to form the government in Karnataka again. Continue reading “Reddy brother in BJP list”

Yeddy wept as loyalists backed out

yedThere is a virtual tug of war that is going on in Karnataka between the Bharatiya Janatha Party and B S Yeddyurappa. After the former Chief Minister of Karnataka B S Yeddyurappa stepped out of the party and launched the Karantaka Janatha Party, one expected that at least 30 MLAs from the BJP would join him and the government would collapse. However that was not the case and Yeddyurappa’s closest loyalists decide to stay away from him as they believe that their political careers would be ruined if they pulled down the BJP government.

Continue reading “Yeddy wept as loyalists backed out”

BJP fiddles when Karnataka burns in drought

Pic: eksparsh.wordpress.com

On one hand Agriculture Minister, Umesh Katti, Water Resources Minister Basavaraj Bommai and Rural Development Minister are plotting the fall of Sadananda Gowda while on the other the state of Karnataka continues to reel under drought with 123 taluks in the state declared as drought hit. Drinking water is scarce , the kharif and rabi crops have failed with an estimated loss of Rs 4500 crore. And where are the ministers in charge- very much in Bangalore and New Delhi thinking more about the protection of vote banks and who would become the next Chief Minister of Karnataka.

Jagadish Shettar who may well take over as the Chief Minister of Karnataka if B S Yeddyurappa has his way hails from North Karnataka. He is the tallest leaders in that area and the people had placed a lot of faith in him when they elected him. However he has spent most of his time in Bangalore in the Yeddyurappa camp dishing out the numbers to show his party’s leadership the kind of support he has and why he should be the next Chief Minister of Karnataka. Now the fact of the matter is that Nothern part of Karnataka, the interiors have recorded the lowest rainfall since the past 33 years and over a 100 taluks in this belt have been declared as drought hit. The point that Shettar is missing is that the same farmers who have voted for him from North Karnataka are migrating as labourers to neighbouring states in search of jobs so that they can feed themselves and their families. In Bagalkot and Bijapur, Northern Karnataka it is the worst drought that they have seen in the past four decades.

While the opposition in Karnataka is trying its best to derive political mileage out of the situation, the ruling BJP has its own share of problems. Ministers have not visited their constituencies in many months now. They are too busy guarding their respective leaders and chalking out plans to oust the Chief Minister. While North Karnataka continues to be the worst hit in the state, the situation around the capital city of Bangalore is no better. In the rural areas around Bangalore such as Chickballapur, and neighbouring areas such as Tumkur, Kolar and other parts the surface water sources have dried up. The crops failure is so bad that it would take a minimum of at least three years for the farmers to recoup from the situation. Loans are not paid, cattle have no fodder, children have no water and instead of looking up to their government they have decided to look up to God.

While the men are trying to get some work as labourers the women spend most of their time walking miles to fetch a pot of water. In Kolar Thimmasandra taluk the only hope for water is from the bore-well which is situated 4 kilometres away from the village. Women walk this far in order to get water and the going is not easy as they have to wait at least two hours in line for them to get their share of water.

Although drought is not a man made problem in Karnataka the issue that most of the farmers are raising is that they do not even get to see their respective ministers who should be with them expressing solidarity. They need to be with us and look at our situation says Lakshmi, wife of a farmer in Kolar.  The situation in the water basins of Krishna is nothing to smile about. The biggest reservoir Almatti too has recorded 23 TMC less water this year which has ensured that the water sources have dried up in the state. In Belgaum, Bagalkot, Dharward, Gadag, Haveri and Dharwad all in North Karnataka water continues to be supplied through tankers. There are nearly 100 tankers which supply water to these places but it is hardly enough to meet the demand.

Speaking of bad governance the situation in Hubli-Dharwad is a clear example of this. These twin cities from where Shettar hails has 65 wards of which only 5 get proper drinking water. The rest of the wards depend on tap water which again is available once a fortnight which again has only ensured that the people have to walk miles to get water. In areas such as Gulbarga, Koppal, Bellary all again in Northern Karnataka drinking water is available once in 15 days and what is worse is that most of the time the water available is high in salt which is not suitable for consumption.

Interestingly none of the ministers are even available for comment on these issues as the focus is only hardcore vindictive politics. Ask them about the possibility of a change in CM or even what transpired in Delhi with the higher leaders, they pose for hours before cameras giving their version of the story. Then of course there is usual blame game on the allocation of funds from the center which according to them has been slow to come as a result of which they cannot serve the people. Some people say that if one calculates the magnitude of the scams that have rocked the state ranging from illegal mining to denotification of lands it is easily some 100 thousand crore. If only this money was put to better use the people of the state would not have been in this situation.

Moreover the government does not appear to be learning or even listening to the people. There have been these mandatory state tours by the leaders. However they are quick to return to Bangalore and plot the next move against their own government. Each time there is a crisis in the government, it is the leadership from Delhi which comes down to pacify the leaders following which they have this great pose for the cameras and promise the people of the state to look into their problems. Well it is all short lived and 15 days after the assurance it is back to plotting yet again.

Seven Yeddyurappa loyalists quit

Stepping up the pressure on Karnataka Chief Minister D Sadananda Gowda, seven ministers loyal to Yeddyurappa have quit the Karnataka cabinet.
The seven ministers said that since the Chief Minister has lost confidence in them they have decided to quit. They have also authorised Yeddyurappa to decide on their future course of action.
Those who quit are Shobha Karandlaje, Basavaraj Bommai, Umesh Katti, C M Udasi, V Somanna, M P Renukacharya and Murugesh Nirani. All seven of them submitted their resignations to Yeddyurappa. It would depend on Yeddyurappa now whether to forward their resignations to the party president or not. Two more ministers are expected to quit by tomorrow.
The ministers said it would not be right for them to stick on after being accused of anti party activities. This move is however been seen as a pressure tactic by Yeddyurappa to ensure more cabinet berths for his loyalists. He is desperate for more hold on the government now after the Supreme Court on Friday ordered a CBI probe against him.
Chief Minister Sadananda Gowda has said that no one has submitted any resignations to him.Consultations between Yeddyurappa and his loyalists will continue late into the night and even tomorrow.

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The Reddy’s are out

Æ21 MLAs from the BJP in Karnataka were sworn in at the Raj Bhavan today. While the new cabinet looks more or less the same, the most important exlusion is that of the Reddy brothers and their close aide B Sriramulu.

The Reddy brothers who were part of the Cabinet under B S Yeddyurappa have been left out at least for now following the Lokayukta report which had recommended action especially against Janardhan Reddy. The report clearly names the Reddy brothers and Sriramulu on several ocassions and in the case of Janardhan Reddy it clearly mentions that he should be removed from the cabinet and the BJP in Karnataka has done exactly that.

Earlier it was being speculated that there may be a Deputy Chief Minister in the new Cabinet under Sadananda Gowda. However there has been no such step taken as all through the discussion it was made clear to the leaders that there shall be no deputy since it would lead to clashes with the CM. Moreover the BJP is hell bent on showing to the public that Sadananda Gowda is not a puppet Chief Minister and he would need to function independently. In addition to this the BJP says that it does not believe in the concept of a Dy CM and further they did not want to show that there is a split in the party as has been printed out in the media over the past couple of days. Some more entries are likely to be made into the ministry over the next few days, BJP sources said.

The list of 21 cabinet ministers who were sworn in at the Raj Bhavan by Governor H R Bharadwaj are:

Suresh Kumar

Shobha Karandlage

R Ashok

Jagadish Shettar

Krishna PalemarV Somanna

Basavaraj Bommai

Umesh Kathi

V Kageri

Govind Karjol

V Narayanaswami

Renukacharya

C Patil

L Savadhi

Bache Gowda

Murugesh Nirani

S V Ravindraprasad

S Ramdas

Revunayak

V S Acharya

C M Udasi

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