BANGALORE: Anything is possible in politics. This may sound like a cliche, but it could come true in Karnataka with strong speculation about B S Yeddyurappa’s dramatic return as chief minister, that too, before the start of the Budget session.
Political circles in Karnataka, particularly the BJP, are abuzz with talk that the Lingayat strongman has struck a deal with the party high command and is set to return as CM to present the Budget on March 21.
“I can’t be hundred percent sure on this. But we are certainly inching towards that possibility,” said a senior minister identified with the anti-Yeddyurappa camp when asked about the speculation. Yeddyurappa has been camping in Delhi for the last three days.
According to sources, BJP national president Nitin Gadkari, Arun Jaitley and other senior leaders, after taking a legal opinion on the cases against Yeddyurappa, reportedly agreed to his reinstatement. However, BJP patriarch L K Advani whose relations with Yeddyurappa have soured, is said to be in favour of continuing with Gowda. “Advani is the only obstacle and efforts are being made to persuade him,” Yeddyurappa’s aide said.
In Bangalore, V Dhananjay Kumar, the state’s representative in Delhi sought to add fuel to speculations by saying that “a BJP chief minister will present the budget” while refusing to commit himself by naming Gowda.
Replying to a specific question from reporters on who would present the budget this year, Kumar, “At this stage I cannot say who would present the budget. One thing is certain that a BJP CM will present it,” he said.
Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister Jagadish Shettar had also made a similar statement two days ago. On the other hand, sources in the Gowda camp dismissed these speculations as mischief by the Yeddyurappa camp. They also maintain that Gowda has been assured by Advani that he would present the Budget and no one should have any doubt about it.
“I don’t think the party leadership will be so harsh on Gowda as to stall him from presenting the Budget,” the Gowda camp said.