The Udupi-Chickmagalur battle

jayashoThe Udupi-Chickmagalur parliamentary constituency which belonged to the BJP in the year 1998, 1999, 2004 and 2009 suddenly slipped out of its hands in the year 2012. This hyped up constituency which shot to the limelight over the Datta Peeta issue which is also known as the mini Ayodhya issue would see a direct battle between, Shobha Karandlage of the BJP and Jayaprakash Hegde the sitting MP from the Congress. While it is expected to be a hotly contested battle between the two, there is no overlooking the fact that former BJP MP, Dhananjay Kumar will contest from here on a Janata Dal(S) ticket this time.

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Yeddy to return, but conditions galore

‎B S Yeddyurappa who had quit the Bhratiya Janatha Party is all set to return and according to sources he may decide by next month in the presence of Narendra Modi.
Yeddyurappa had formed the Karnataka Janatha Party after quitting the BJP over a year back. The KJP will have two meetings today and tomorrow in which a date for the merger or his return to the BJP would be decided.

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REVENGE- Shobha vs Suresh

ssurOne of the most interesting battles that would be fought in Karnataka is at the Rajajinagar Constituency in Bangalore. It has two big wigs- Suresh Kumar of the BJP and Shobha Karandlage of the Karnataka Janatha Party.

This is being seen as a revenge battle headed by B S Yeddyurappa and for this he has fielded his most trusted lieutenant. For Yeddyurappa, defeating two persons is of primary importance. He has sworn to defeat K S Eshwarappa and Suresh Kumar as he feels that these two persons were responsible for his ouster as Chief Minister. Continue reading “REVENGE- Shobha vs Suresh”

Why the KJP and not the BJP?

yed1The Bharatiya Janata Party in Karnataka is expected to face more hiccups in the days to come as 15 to 20 of its legislators are likely to join the B S Yeddyurappa led, Karnataka Janatha Party in the next couple of days.

Two big names Renukacharya and Murugesh Nirani will join the party on March 29th and 30th when the KJP holds its convention at Bagalkot and Belgaum. Although at the outset it appears that the main intention of the KJP is to destroy the BJP, it is still interesting to find out why so many more BJP legislators are heading to the KJP? Continue reading “Why the KJP and not the BJP?”

Kar- 2 resignations accepted

The Karnataka Governor has accepted the resignations of two BJP ministers- Shobha Karandlage and C M Udasi. The two ministers who had tendered their resignations to the Chief Minister two days will now join the Karnataka Janatha Party headed by B S Yeddyurappa.
The Chief Minister had forwarded their resignations to the Governor and shortly after the two met to discuss the crisis in the state, the resignations were accepted.

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Yeddyurappa inches closer towards quitting BJP

Pic: TOI

A meeting of B S Yeddyurappa and his supporters is being closely watched by many in the state of Karnataka. B S Yeddyurappa is firm that he will launch his new party after resigning on December 10th. Continue reading “Yeddyurappa inches closer towards quitting BJP”

Back to square one- 9 Yeddyurappa loyalists quit

It is as usual crisis time in Karnataka and nine ministers loyal to former Chief Minister, B S Yeddyurappa have quit the cabinet. Jagadish Shettar, the Chief Minister in waiting, Yeddyurappa’s close aide Shobha Karandlage and seven others including
Basavaraj Bommai, V Somana, Renukacharya, C M Udasi submitted their resignations to the Chief Minister Sadananda Gowda at his residence.
Although their letter does not seek a change in leadership, they say that the MLAs have lost confidence in him. It also states that despite so many requests a legislature party meeting had not been convened.
The resignation of these nine cabinet ministers has no threat to the government as of now. The strength of the party in the house is intact. However there is expected to be more resignations in a day or two and the Yeddyurappa camp has been pushing for a change in CM.
In the last communication to the central leadership, the Yeddyurappa camp had sought that Jagadish Shettar be made the CM. He is a lingayat and the BJP needs this vote bank. However party president Eshwarappa also stated that he is a contender to the post.
Meanwhile another set of BJP MLAs loyal to Sadananda Gowda have threatened to quit if the leadership is changed. A meeting of these MLAs has been convened at 3 PM ahead of Dharmendra Pradhan coming down to Bangalore tomorrow.

What has the BJP RESORTED to?

Photo courtesy: The Hindu
Photo courtesy: The Hindu

For the BJP in Karnataka it all started at a resort and today when one looks at the scenario it appears that their legislators have spent more time in a resort than at the Karnataka legislative assembly or even their respective constituencies.

The BJP coming to power itself was a big event as the party launched itself for the first time in South India. Just before B S Yeddyurappa could take over the administration of the state, the central leadership organised a session at a resort where the legislators were given a talk about how the BJP should function in Karnataka.

It was all promise at that time and it appeared that the BJP would not only complete its term smoothly but would come back to win the next election as well.

However that was not to be and ever since it took over in Karnataka not a single day has passed without the party facing a problem and interestingly more due to infighting.

Apart from running to a resort each time there was a political crisis, one also got to see the number of times that MLAs changed loyalties. First it was Renukacharya who was part of a revolt against Yeddyurappa. However he returned to the Yeddyurappa camp after claiming that he has forced into conducting that rebellion. Then we saw the Jagadish Shettar-B S Yeddyurappa love-hate story. Just a year back they were at logger heads when Yeddyurappa wanted Sadananda Gowda as the CM. In fact Shettar lost the internal poll to Gowda who was at that time Yeddyurappa’s man. Today Shettar and Yeddyurappa are together and have sworn to oust Gowda from the chair.

Today Yeddyurappa has tucked himself away at a resort along with 55 of his MLAs. If Yeddyurappa decides to worsen this then it is curtains for the BJP which has 117 MLAs in the House. The only option that it would have is to form a government with the Congress which has 78 MLAs and we all know that is never going to happen.

In the 46 months that the BJP has ruled it MLAs have more often than not raised some issue or the other and each time around the focus just shifted to some resort or the other. Today it is probably for the first time in 46 months that Yeddyurappa has resorted to the resort while all the other times he was the one at the receiving end.

The one who started it all for the BJP was former tourism minister and mining baron Janardhan Reddy. He was upset with some officials in Bellary being transferred. With sheer power of the wealth he managed to take nearly 40 MLAs along with him to a resort and threatened to pull down the Yeddyurappa government. Apart from seeking the reinstatement of a couple of his officials he had also rooted to make Jagadish Shettar the CM. He however had not kept all his MLAs in one resort. He parked some in Bangalore, Andhra Pradesh and Goa. The crisis lasted nearly 15 days and finally after some back door assurances regarding the officials and also the ouster of Yeddyurappa’s favourite MLA, Shobha Karandlage the crisis came to an end. However the MLAs who were with the Reddy brothers did not have quite a happy ending and there were murmurs that he did not give them what was assured once his demands were met.

While things appeared to a bit calm it was the turn of Renukacharya who today is in the Yeddyurappa camp to lead another round of protest. He vanished with a couple of legislators to a resort in Goa. His demand was to remove Yeddyurappa. At that point in time it was Janardhan Reddy who was sent by none other than Yeddyurappa to have a word with the MLAs. However these MLAs who were part of the Reddy camp just a few months back refused to even meet with him. Finally Yeddyurappa had a word with Renukacharya and the crisis came to an end.

The BJP had formed the government with the support of some independent MLAs and also a couple of leaders from the Congress and the JD(S) who had party hopped as part of the operation Lotus programme. Now it was their turn to create trouble and 18 of them went away to a resort near Bangalore. The BJP was in trouble once again and they had to face a trust vote. However a day before the trust vote the Speaker dismissed all these legislators which ensured that they did not have a vote. The BJP managed to sail through but the Governor felt that the result was not a fair one and directed the CM to take another vote. The court had however at that time refused to interfere with the order of the speaker as a result of which Yeddyurappa survived yet again.

Then came the mining report which took the name of Yeddyurappa. Much drama followed and finally Yeddyurappa stepped down. There was a leadership crisis that followed. Yeddyurappa proposed the name of Gowda while the rival camp wanted Shettar in. Both camps then agreed that the legislators would elect the candidate for CM. In a bid of preventing any kind of trading both camps parked their loyalists at separate resorts until the day of the vote which finally Gowda won.

Ever since Gowda took over the trouble has only been caused by Yeddyurappa. He has sought his reinstatement and in the bargain even fell out with Gowda. While there are many theories to the fall out, Yeddyurappa maintains that he had been cozying up to Deve Gowda and H D Kumaraswamy. However the other version is that the central leadership was grooming Gowda as the next leader and this was not going down too well with Yeddyurappa who says that he had single handedly brought the BJP to power in Karnataka.

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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BJP drama drags on

The drama in Bangalore over the resignation of Chief Minizter continues and so far there is absoljtely no solution. BJP state President told the media a while ago that he is hopeful of a decision by tomorrow and also added that the high command would take the opinion of the MLAs before making a final call.
BJP leaders, Arun Jaitley and Rajnath Singh along with other senior leaders continued to meet with various factions in the BJP, Karnataka to find a solution to the ongoing crisis. Yeddyurappa has made it clear to them he will not be stepping down immediately unless some of this demands have been met. Sources say that he has changed a couple of his demands and says that a candidate of his should at least be made the Deputy Chief Minister while he should be given the post of party president in the state. However there is opposition in some circles to appointing a deputy chief minister. However Eshwarappa who is also a hopeful for the post of Chief Minister said that he is unaware of any such demands. There may be demands, but the high command has not conveyed anything to me about that.
All MLAs will give their opinions about this issue to the party seniors tomorrow and I can say with confidence that there is no split in the party as is being made out to be. Every family has its own problems and we are having some too today. However I am confident that we will tide over this crisis with ease, he also said. Yeddyurappa is a good leader and he has a lot of regard for the party. I am sure he will not go against the decision of the high command. This statement is completely contrary to what the Yeddyurappa followers have been saying. They continue to rally behind Yeddyurappa and say that the high command must reconsider its decision since the Lokayukta report is biased and does not make out a strong case against the JD(S) and the Congress who are also involved in illegal mining. Eshwarappa was however not critical of the Lokayukta report. He said on several ocassions the opposition has demanded the resignation of Yeddyurappa, but the party never inisisted that he quit. We had however said that any leader would have to step down in case of an inditement by a court or the Lokayukta in any inquiry and hence this time the party high command has sought his resignation. He was however quick to add that despite the Lokayukta naming Dharam Singh in his first report, the Congress colluded with the Governor and got his name cleared when the matter was referred to the latter. The BJP has however not done anything to that effect, he added.
Meanwhile the BJP leaders from Delhi have their task cut out and they continue to meet with various leaders seeking their opinion. The discussions revolve largely round the resignation of Yeddyurappa and they are treading cautiously since it appears that Yeddyurappa would try and split the party by showing his strength with the number of MLAs he has got. There is also a growing demand by the anti Yeddyurappa faction who have been saying that the CM should step down or else the high command should initiate disciplinary action against him. Each of the factions have been claiming the support of 70 MLAs each despite the strenght of the BJP being just 121 in the Karnataka Legislative Assembly.
The high command has its task cut out and once they manage to resolve the Yeddyurappa issue they will need to look into the charges levelled by the Lokayukta against the Reddy brothers and their aide B Sriramulu. However there is not a word on that in the BJP circles since the entire focus is on the Chief Minister. B Sriramulu even issued a statement in which he said that there is no instruction from the high command for him to step down, but also added that he is ready to do so if the party demands.
There are at least four different meetings that are taking place in Bangalore. While Ananth Kumar and his men are in a seperate meeting, the Chief Minister has just returned to his official residence after meeting with the party leaders. On the other hand Singh and Jaitley held a meeting with Shobha Karandlage to take her views on the crisis. The same leaders also met with Eshwarappa with the same purpose. Party sources say that there should be some decision by tomorrow following which the legislature party meeting would be held. However it would all depend on whether they can convince Yeddyurappa to step down and unless he does, there will be no progress in this matter at all.

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