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Yet another threat to the BJP Government in Karnataka – Yeddyurappa will be back




Why are political parties bent on hara-kiri in states that are so critical to them ? For the BJP, it spent a long time without any major kind of presence in the Southern states (there was some influence in Kerala, but not of the level that it has won a seat over there). And then, the BJP finally won a majority (or got close to a majority and attracted more people) in Karnataka. In the minds of the BJP leadership, this was to be a state where the BJP could demonstrate to the southern half of India how it runs a Government, its model being different from the Congress in terms of running a stable Government, and espousing development. Well, this attempt seems to have failed spectacularly. Over a period of time, the BJP in Karnataka seems to have failed spectacularly in showing how a state should be run, instead being quoted as an example of how the BJP cannot take the high ground on corruption, or in terms of stability of the polity in a state.
Even if one goes to the time when Yeddyurappa was the Chief Minister, there were numerous instances when there was a lot of dissidence in the state, a lot of it sponsored by the Reddy brothers, bent upon giving Yeddyurappa a hard time. There were displays of a section of the legislators withdrawing support, which gained importance also because the BJP had a wafer thin majority, and it had a determined opposition (which also for all practical purposes included the office of the Governor). These over a period of time did a lot to discredit the claims of the BJP to have a Government with a difference, or that its members were more disciplined and less likely to want more benefits for themselves.

And then there were the claims against the Chief Minister himself. Now, Yeddyurappa has done a lot of the BJP in the state, credited with bringing it to power, and also being the one who has the unquestioned backing of a large section of the population in terms of caste. But, then the series of allegations against the Chief Minister, backed by proof to some degree, and also with investigation by the Lokayukta brought him under a cloud. The opposition was quick to jump onto this one, since his presence in the office continued to undermine the credibility of the party in terms of its attack on the corruption of the Congress led UPA in the center. But, Yeddyurappa was determined not to go away, and defied all attempts by the central leadership of the party to get him to step down. The fact that he did finally resign was not because of any personal credibility, but because there was a report of the Lokayukta that claimed that he was responsible for corruption. He finally resigned when it became impossible to continue, but this was also with the condition that if he is able to clear his name, he will be back.
And so he is back. There was a recent judgment of the High Court in Bangalore that quoted technical reasons as to why the Governor should not have accepted the Lokayukta report (which was not a judgment on the merits of the case, purely on the basis of his not having had a say before the Governor accepted the report). Soon after this, Yeddyurappa was back in terms of demanding his chair back. The allegations against him are credible, and he did not also deny many of the allegations against him, claiming that other Chief Ministers in the past had also done similar things. But, he does have the apparent support of a majority of the MLA’s, and with the defeat in a Lok Sabha seat in Karnataka, the BJP is under pressure in the seat, and it looks like Yeddyurappa will be back. This will be a black day for the BJP, but it will have to grin and bear the insults of the opposition, most of all of the Congress.




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