Daijiworld Media Network
Bangalore, Aug 2: With less than 24 hours left for the announcement of the new legislative leader of Karnataka BJP, it is reported that no consensus is still in sight for the choice of a unanimous leader for the post of the chief minister.
B S Yeddyurappa, now the caretaker chief minister after he stepped down on Sunday July 31, has backed his aide Sadananda Gowda as the prime candidate, but on the other hand Ananth Kumar has backed Jagadish Shettar who had openly admitted that he was a contender for the CM's post.
With the two camps busy in hectic political activities in the state, the Yeddyurappa camp is claiming the support of 70 MLAs, and surprisingly, the Ananth Kumar camp is also quoting the same number in support for its candidate Jagadish Shettar. But the fact is that at least one of them is wrong or making false claims, as the total number of BJP MLAs in the house is only 121.
Yeddyurappa, who was reluctant to step down from the post, is a widely accepted Lingayat leader in the state, and even now he enjoys a great amount of support from the MLAs and the Lingayat community leaders, including mutt heads and other seers. The scam-tainted Yeddyurappa is now worried about the future CM, as Ananth Kumar is known to be his arch rival within the house. The enmity is not new, but it was restricted to the two of them for the past 30 years. Caste also plays a vital role here as Ananth Kumar belongs to the Brahmin community.
Sadananda Gowda, who has always stood by Yeddyurappa in times of crises, is indeed grateful to Yeddyurappa for making him party chief for five years. Gowda has ably performed his duties and taken the party to victory in Karnataka during the 2008 assembly elections.
A highly reliable source from the Yeddyurappa camp has informed Daijiworld that Yeddyurappa is all set to fight his legal battles, specially on the mining issues. His advocates have assured him that he would come out clean in about 8-10 months' time. Yeddyurappa is hopeful that once he's done with the legal battles, he can come back to power, if not within two years, at least after the next elections.
If the CM's post goes to the Ananth Kumar camp, then there is no hope for Yeddyurappa to come back, as Shettar is not likely to sacrifice his chair for Yeddyurappa. This is the sole reason for Yeddyurappa to back Sadananda Gowda, who hails from the Vokkaliga community.
Some reports from Ashoka hotel say that the Ananth camp is ready for a showdown when high command leaders Arun Jailtley and Dharmendra Pradhan come calling to Bangalore on Tuesday August 2 evening. A secret ballot for the leader's election is also not ruled out.
Janardhan Reddy, who is considered a champion of 'resort' politics with two past experiences, is set to go for another resort politics, it is learnt. By Tuesday evening, he might take atleast 60 MLAs supporting Yeddyurappa to an undisclosed resort, it is reported, to get ready for a showdown on August 3 before the meeting with the high command.
In any case, the state BJP, though it claims that it is united, has split into two camps - one supporting Vokkaliga candidate Sadananda Gowda, and other backing Lingayat leader Jagadish Shettar.
Politcal experts in the state say the chances are 50:50.