How about the Gowdas
This could be just Round One. Diehard BJP supporters are convinced Modi-Shah may not give up Karnataka easily. Not to avenge Yeddy’s unceremonious exit, but because allowing the Congress-JD(S) alliance an unhindered access to 2019 makes the bid for the 28 Lok Sabha seats that much more difficult. Not to mention foregoing the new foothold it got in Old Mysuru. In 2014, BJP had walked off with the lion’s share of 17 seats in that region.
Former PM Deve Gowda, securing whose ‘secular’ image is now being offered as the raison d’etre behind the alliance (not the CM post to son HD Kumaraswamy), had just got two. The BJP camp hopes that Gowda Sr or ‘his ego’ makes it a difficult equation for the Congress. BJP leaders admit they underestimated the hold the Gowda family has over their bastion. Or how they would become a rallying point for the Opposition. Mamata Banerjee, Mayawati, KCR and Chandrababu Naidu all offered help and counsel to safeguard the MLAs. The BJP hardliners, therefore, want the agencies to be let loose on the main winner
Tom and Jerry Show
The busload of Karnataka MLAs was headed originally towards Puducherry, when Congress managers realised the news had gotten out. So the route was promptly changed and Telangana CM KCR’s offer of ‘security’ in Hyderabad was taken up. KC Venugopal, the Congress’s Karnataka incharge, of course claims Puducherry was marked out less as a temporary haven and more as a red herring— to give out a wrong lead to “those chasing our MLAs”. Quite a cat-and-mouse game there.
Trouble for Narayanasamy?
Stung by the experience in Karnataka, BJP chief Amit Shah has set his eyes on Puducherry. That is, to keep his promise of opening an account south of the Vindhyas. Or so the buzz goes. Come July, he’s expected to visit the state and firm up a plan to nudge the Congress dispensation out. He has another willing partner in Raj Bhavan, it seems. The three BJP MLAs have been denied entry into the Assembly the past few months. And, they are supposed to be the ace Shah would play.
It seems when the overtures from the Yeddy camp started coming, the target MLAs were asked to give away their phones. There were palpable signs of worry in the Congress-JD(S) camp. But later, after an intervention from the top, it was decided itwould be better that the calls are recorded for future use. For the first time, quips a GOP insider, “We worked with a strategy!” The BJP, naturally, called the recordings
Back to Textile Ministry ‘only’, Smriti Irani has been quietly nursing her wounds. But knowing her, perhaps not for too long. There’s wild speculation on who she’ll get at next to get back to the limelight. She may eventually be given party work, closer to elections, where her volubility and penchant of hitting the headlines can be put to better use.