Bangalore: Though Crisis Averted, BJP Yet to Find Solution
From Our Special Correspondent
Daijiworld Media Network - Bangalore
Bangalore, Jul 3: Though the ruling BJP seems to have averted the political crisis after the intervention of the party’s high command in prevailing upon the nine ministers owing their allegiance to former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa, who is bent upon replacing Karnataka Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda with his nominee Jagadish Shettar, a lasting solution to bring the State Government back on rails has become elusive.
The BJP national president Nitin Gadkari and other Central leaders, including the parliamentary board’s working president L K Advani, have kept themselves busy in holding talks with the rival factions, including Gowda and Shettar as well as State president K S Eshwarappa to find an amicable solution but without much success.
It is still not clear whether the BJP high command has conceded the demand of Yeddyurappa and his supporters for change of leadership and install Shettar in order to win over the support of the politically powerful Lingayat community, which is predominant in northern Karnataka region, or allow Gowda, who belongs to the other dominant community of Vokkaligas to continue in power.
Though political circles are agog with rumours of the high command’s in principle consent to effect a change of leadership and install Shettar the chief minister’s post and accommodate Gowda either as state party president or at the national level and induct Eshwarappa into the cabinet. There is also speculation regarding the possibility of accommodating both Eshwarappa, who belongs to the backward Kuruba community, and R Ashok, a Vokkaliga, as deputy chief ministers in order to keep all the prominent sections happy.
While BJP’s Karnataka in-charge Dharmendra Pradhan, who had already held preliminary discussions with all factions during his recent visit to Bangalore that a solution has been found, the very fact that the chief minister, Eshwarappa, Shettar, Ashok and other leaders are still camping in Delhi suggests that an amicable solution remains still elusive.
However, reports from Delhi indicated that Gowda, Eshwarappa and Shettar are expected to return late in the night.
BJP insiders indicated that the BJP national president Nitin Gadkari and opposition leader in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitely, who is donning the role of a troubleshooter, are in favour of effecting a smooth change of leadership to ease Gowda out from the chief minister’s post and install Shettar in his place with a view to ensure that the party continues to retain its hold over the dominant Lingayat community, who also enjoys the support of Yeddyurappa. In the event of Gowda being replaced by Shettar, the State may have one or two deputy chief ministers as part of the compromise formula in which case Ashok and Eshwarappa might benefit.
However, it is an open secret that Advani as well as former BJP national presidents Rajnath Singh and Murli Manohar Joshi along with BJP opposition leader in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj are dead against yielding to the pressure tactics of Yeddyurappa and forcing a change of leadership as it might damage the party’s image and might even result in similar developments in other BJP ruled states. Another reason in Gowda’s favour is his clean record and performance during the last 11 months.
The two opposing views and the stubborn refusal of Advani to yield to Yeddyurappa’s blackmail tactics are believed to have come as a stumbling block in finding a solution.
With the presidential election due on July 19, it remains to be seen whether the BJP national leadership will act in resolving the Karnataka crisis before that or wait for the election to be over. Meanwhile, the State Assembly will have to meet later this month for passing the State budget as the three-month vote on account secured by the chief minister will end in July.