The hike in Railway passenger fares has come under much scrutiny and there is talk that it is going to hit the common man very bad. An attempt to increase the rail fares had come under much criticism and this country has seen a railway minister stepping down two years back because of this. However taking into account the number of train accidents and the increasing cost of running the railways, the union government today had no choice but to hike the fares. Although a very controversial decision, the Railways Minister, D Sadananda Gowda points out that it was absolutely necessary to effect this change. He says that the previous government too had cleared this proposal knowing that it was important, but had kept it on hold. We understand that it is a bit harsh to hike the fare, but in the future it will only benefit the people and this is something that we cannot play politics with.
There are 6 former Karnataka Chief Ministers in the fray for the Lok Sabha elections. While each one appears to be strong in their respective constituency, the most interesting battle would be between two former Chief Ministers, H D Kumaraswamy of the Janata Dal (S) and Veerappa Moily of the Congress. The rest in the fray are N Dharam Singh, B S Yeddyurappa, H Deve Gowda and D Sadananda Gowda.
There is sudden spring in the stride of many in the Karnataka Bharatiya Janata Party after the two addresses by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. For instance former Chief Minister, D Sadananda Gowda is ecstatic that Modi came to Mangalore and raised the hopes of the cadres who are working for the BJP.
He is our star campaigner and he was our star campaigner in 2008 also. Where ever he has addressed a rally, the BJP has done well, he says. He even quotes the example of a very tough fight the BJP was facing in his home town of Puttur in 2008. Due to some dissidence, we had lost hope, but after Modi addressed a rally everything changed and the BJP walked through easily.
There is a new BJP team in place at New Delhi and while Karnataka will be its first litmus test, the party is more interested in focusing on the 2014 polls. Karnataka BJP leaders tell rediff.com that with Narendra Modi in the thick of the action, they would see results, but they also add that the real victory will be seen during the 2014 elections.
The biggest news in the Karnataka BJP today would be about B S Yeddyurappa quitting the party. Much has been written about how his exit would dent the party which had formed its first government in South India four years back. Yeddyurappa’s followers claim that it would be curtains for the party once he quits as he is most likely to walk away with 40 MLAs from the party. However that is not the view shared by one time Yeddyurappa loyalist and former Chief Minister of Karnataka, D Sadananda Gowda.
Gowda was made C M by Yeddyurappa, but then the two fell out following which a major coup was staged to remove Gowda almost a year back. In this interview with rediff.com Gowda speaks out about the future of the party in Karnataka while adding that Yeddyurappa quitting the party will have a very minor impact and there is nothing really to worry about. Continue reading ““Yeddyurappa’s exit will have zero impact on BJP””
B S Yeddyurappa, former Chief Minister of Karnataka has said that he will not accept the post of party president even if he is offered the same. There were voices of dissent from Yeddyurappa since the past couple of days and he had stepped up the demand to make the state party chief.
He has been stating that it is wrong on the party of K S Eshwarappa to hold two posts- Deputy Chief Minister and State party president and he ought to give up at least one of the posts.
Yeddyurappa told reporters at Bangalore that he did not want to build any pressure on the party to make him the president. I want to remain a party worker and what the media has been saying about my wish to become the president is wrong. Today even if the party offers me the post I will not accept it. I am in no hurry and will wait until December and take a decision, he also added.
About attending the national executive meeting of the party, he said that he has not taken any decision about the same. I will think about it, Yeddyurappa added.
Yeddyurappa who was forced to quit as the Chief Minister after his name had figured in the mining scam had made D Sadananda Gowda as the Chief Minister. However a year later he fell out with Gowda and got him replaced with Jagadish Shettar.
When Nithin Gadkari said that they were changing the Chief Minister of Karnataka because they wanted to fight the elections next year under the leadership of a Lingayat it was clear that caste is the factor that dominates in Karnataka. B S Yeddyurappa and his camp finally did manage to have their say and installed Jagadish Shettar replacing D Sadananda Gowda as the Chief Minister of the state.
There is no denying that the BJP came to power in Karnataka largely on the support of the Lingayat vote bank which constitutes 17 per cent of the state’s 65 million population. Ever since Yeddyurappa who projected himself as the leader of the Lingayats in the state was asked to step down there has been a great deal of unhappiness among the Lingayat mutts in Karnataka. The mutts all through were very insistent that there would only be a Lingayat Chief Minister in Karnataka and no other candidate even if he is backed by a Lingayat would be good enough.
With Shettar coming in to replace Gowda the Lingayats may be happy, but the bigger question is whether this would erupt into another war between the two tallest Lingayat leaders in the BJP- Yeddyurappa and Shettar. Many political observers believe that the war between the two veterans of the state BJP is likely to erupt in a couple of months time and this would force the state to face the elections earlier than expected. Shettar who originally belonged to the anti Yeddyurappa camp appears to have joined him this time more for the sake of convenience and this is mainly because Yeddyurappa has the numbers on him to make or break the party.
Although Yeddyurappa is still considered to be the leader of the Lingayats at the moment, many feel that Shettar will start eroding into that base which is bound to upset Yeddyurappa. This will lead to another battle within the BJP according to political observers in Karnataka. What is interesting is that Shettar and Yeddyurappa are not natural allies. They have been at logger heads for many years now and Yeddyurappa did everything possible since winning the elections to keep Shettar at bay. The Shettar-Yeddyurappa affair for the moment is only due to a political compulsion.
When Yeddyurappa came to power, he made Shettar the speaker of the assembly and this was an attempt to keep him away from power. It was only after the Reddy brother staged a coup and threatened to bring Yeddyurappa down did he budge and make Shettar a cabinet minister. Those who have observed Yeddyurappa and Shettar closely have maintained that the two never shared a good relationship with each other. Yeddyurappa has always seen him as a threat. It was obvious when Yeddyurappa was asked to step down he had pitched for Sadananda Gowda as the Chief Minister as he saw no threat from him. Moreover Yeddyurappa who had been playing the Lingayat vote bank card all along decided to place a Vokkaliga (Gowda) instead of a Lingayat (Shettar) in the hot seat.
However for Yeddyurappa it went wrong. He trusted Gowda but he felt betrayed by him. There are however two versions to this story. The Gowda camp suggested that Yeddyurappa was impossible to handle and he had virtually become a super CM which was becoming very difficult for Gowda. However the Yeddyurappa faction claimed that Gowda had become cozy with Deve Gowda and was trying to build the Vokkaliga vote bank which was not good for the interests of the Lingayats in the state.
However this time around it was Yeddyurappa who finally made his arch rival Shettar the CM of the state. He had no choice but to propose the name of Shettar if he wanted to bring Gowda down. Even the anti Yeddyurappa camp ( Ananth Kumar and company) did not object too much to Shettar as he was their original candidate for Chief Minister. Moreover the advise of the mutts could not be avoided at any cost and they advised Yeddyurappa to play the role of a king maker and place a Lingayat leader as the Chief Minister.
With the appointment of Shettar, B S Yeddyurappa loses a big tool. He had always cribbed that the Lingayats who ensured that the BJP won would not spare the party during the next elections. Now he cannot crib about this since there is a Lingayat in the hot seat. Moreover this time around he will have to be very cautious as he cannot trouble Shettar much and if he does so then all the mutts would automatically support Shettar.
The manner in which Yeddyurappa conducts himself would decide his political future. In comparison to Shettar he is a more acceptable face today in the BJP. Yeddyurappa has corruption charges against him while Shettar has remained clean. Moreover Shettar is comparatively softer and easily approachable unlike Yeddyurappa who is short tempered and moody.
At the moment there is not likely to be any problem in the BJP as Shettar is most likely to oblige Yeddyurappa. However in the days to come Shettar is likely to build his base and make it stronger. There is no denying the fact that Shettar had secretely nurtured becoming a parallel force in the BJP and there is no better time for him to do so.
Law minister of Karnataka, Suresh Kumar tendered his resignation over allegations that a Rs 4 crore site was alloted to his close relatives under the Chief Minister’s discretionary quota. The resignation sent to Chief Minister, Sadananda Gowda has however not bee accepted.
The allegation is that some close relatives of Kumar had got a site under the discretionary quota of the CM. This allocation was done when B S Yeddyurappa was the Chief Minister of the state of Karnataka. The site alloted in Bangalore worth Rs 4 crore had raised an issue which prompted the law minister to resign from his post.
The infighting within the Bharatiya Janata Party did them in and the party’s prestigious constituency, the Udupi-Chickmagalur has been taken over by the Congress. The by-election to this Parliamentary constituency which was held by D Sadananda Gowda was won by the Congress by over 40000 votes.
The seat had fallen vacant after Gowda resigned as MP after he was made the Chief Minister of Karnataka. Congress candidate, K Jayaprakash Hegde won the seat by defeating the BJP’s Sunil Kumar in the by poll that was held on March 18th.
This election had gathered a lot of interest as it was considered to be a prestigious seat for the BJP. When elections to this seat was held in the year 2009, the Congress candidate, Hegde was defeated by a large margin by Gowda. However when it came to canvassing there was a lack luster effort on part of the BJP. Nithin Gadkari too had come down to discuss this election, but had to return half way as he had to deal with the problems of infighting within the party.
Former Chief Minister of Karnataka has entered into rebel mode. He is holed up with 30 loyal MLAs in a bid to pressurise the BJP central leadership to make him the Chief Minister once again.
Even as the rebellion continued in Bangalore, Chief Minister of Karnataka, D Sadananda Gowda, state BJP chief K S Eshwarappa locked themselves in New Delhi with central leaders making a desperate bid to find a solution to the crisis.
Yeddyurappa’s supporters have been stating that the BJP is wasting their leader without giving him any position. They also stated that Yeddyurappa has been granted bail in all cases against him and hence there is no precedent to keep him out of power. The central leadership is however adamant and says that unless he is cleared in the form of an acquittal there is no chance of accomdating him in any post. Yeddyurappa’s followers however argued that he should at least be made the state unit president.
Both Eshwarappa and Gowda who are in New Delhi feel that the central leadership ought to take a stance before something major takes place.
Yeddyurappa is however keeping his options close to his heart and may take a decision in a week or two. Yeddyurappa says that he is the one who built the party and hence there is no use in having many leaders for one party. However Eshwarappa countered that by saying it is a party above individuals.
Yeddyurappa has been threatening to break the party and even has sent out feelers to the NCP a couple of days back. However his crtics say that these are bargaining tactics and in today’s scenario no one needs the BJP more than Yeddyurappa does.