Pic: The Hindu
Bangalore North is considered to be the next IT hub of Bangalore. Currently Bangalore South where Nandan Nilekani is taking on Ananth Kumar is the IT hub and is also the most high profile constituency in the state of Karnataka.
Bangalore North has an interesting battle ahead. Who can forget the dynamic smile of former Chief Minister Sadananda Gowda which earned him the nick name, “ smile politician.”
Gowda who is contesting the seat on a BJP ticket is up against Narayanswamy of the Congress who is also a former MP from this constituency. He was with the JD(S) and crossed over to the Congress.
Call it sheer coincidence of superstition- Since the year 1952 the Sringeri constituency in Karnataka has seen one trend- which ever party wins the seat goes on to form the government.
The Sringeri Constituency is known for its temples and is in the Chickmagalur district. The trend started in the year 1952 and continued till the 2008 elections. Let us take a look at the events since the year 1952.
Alls well that ends well- that is the picture you get at the end of it when you look at what trascribed in today crucial BJP meeting that ended with the selection of Sadananda Gowda as the Chief Minister of Karnataka.
One of the MLAs who was present at the meeting today said that everything was not hunky dory as it may have seemed in public. The day began with meetings between both the factions- Ananth Kumar and Yeddyurappa with the senior leaders from New Delhi. All through the leaders made an attempt to bring about a consensus, but failed.
The two factions even arrived at the Hotel Capitol seperately. The Ananth Kumar faction comprising Jagadish Shettar and the rest arrived in two buses of the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation. It was around 11.40 by the time these factions had arrived. At this point of time, the Yeddyurappa faction had not arrived as yet and they were still holding talks with the Rajnath Singh. At around 12 four buses of the Siddaganga travels arrived at the hotel with Yeddyurappa’s supporters in it. However only the MLAs were allowed inside and the MLCs and MPs were kept out and fifteen minutes later we got to see a sulking MP, D B Chandre Gowda storm out of the hotel.
It was almost 12.30 by the time the meeting started and what was expected to be a peaceful discussion turned into a heated debate.
The leader who was present at the meeting said that both factions hurled allegations at each other. It took quite some time for the national leaders to address the MLAs. The Yeddyurappa camp started shouting slogans in favour of Gowda and when they went quiet, it was the turn of the other faction supporting Ananth Kumar. Then followed a volley of allegations against each other and it almost came to turning ugly, but then both Jaitley and Rajnath made an emotional plea to both the parties to stay calm. Both of them said that all of you have worked so hard in building this party from scratch and do you want to ruin it by fighting among each other. We have come from Delhi with a decision in mind. We would want Gowda to be the Chief Minister and Shettar as the Deputy. This created yet another round of commotion with the Shettar camp demanding that there be a secret ballot since they beleived he had the numbers. The Yeddyurappa faction however said that there is no need for a ballot and they should go ahead with the decision that has been taken. We have the numbers the Yeddy camp said and we do not see the need to go through this process. However the real problem for the Yeddy camp was that they were afraid that there would be cross voting and hence they tried to go along with the decision instead of insisting on a secret ballot. However the Shettar faction was adamant and insisted that a secret ballot was held.
When the national leaders finally agreed, it was Suresh Kumar, Law Minister who stood up and said that he would not vote. I belong to the BJP and not any of these factions and hence i do not want to be identified with anyone. While he earned an applause, that lasted a short while and the MLAs went ahead with the voting.
It was a matter of time before the results were announced and Gowda was elected as the new leader. Although there was disappointment in the Shettar camp, they remained quiet. It was by this time, the grin on the face of Ananth Kumar had turned into a frown since he was unable to ensure that the candidate from his faction went through.
Just before the votes were counted, Yeddyurappa went up on the stage and proposed the name of Gowda. Surprisingly both Shettar and K S Eshwarappa who were aware of what the result would be seconded Gowda’s name. At the end of it there were pleasentaries which were exchanged and each one promised to work for the betterment of the party.
Will B S Yeddyurappa let go easy? It does not seem so. D B Chandre Gowda, BJP MP and B P Harish, BJP MLA have come out in the open questioning the decision of the high command thus giving the indication what is in store once the leaders from New Delhi land up in Bangalore.
D B Chandre Gowda was the first to come out and state the following. Out of the 14 MPs, 13 of us barring Ananth Kumar who is in New Delhi have appealed to the high command to reconsider its decision regarding the ouster of Yeddyurappa. We have made an appeal stating that the decision made on the basis of the Lokayukta report be considered immediately. We will make another appeal by evening and hope that the high command will take out work for it. We have also consulted some MLAs who are also of the same opinion.
MLA, Harish too said the same. He however went a step ahead and stated that the decision of the high command is unfair. Yeddyurappa enjoys the support of 60 MLAs and the high command did a wrong thing by taking a decision of its own without even consulting the MLAs. The Lokayukta report is biased and the high command could not have come to a conclusion on that basis and worse without consulting any of us.
At the moment there is a hectic effort on, on party of Yeddyurappa to make a last ditch attempt to save his seat. His supporters are in talks with RSS leaders and also Venkaiah Naidu at the Kumara Krupa guest house in Bangalore to convince them to change their stance. While some say he is trying to save his chair, the rest point out that he is going in for a hard bargain before he lets go.
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