Ready for Yeddyurappa: The Prasanna story
By Express News Service | Published: 11th November 2012 09:58 AM |
Businessman Padmanabha Prasanna, 40, is a political greenhorn. Not many have heard his name or know anything about his background. But the party that he registered in 2011 is already creating ripples in Karnataka’s political arena.
Even Prasanna might not have imagined that his regional outfit, Karnataka Janata Party (KJP) will be taken seriously by anyone, leave alone former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa, in such a short span of time. Thanks to internal rumblings in the ruling saffron brigade and disgruntled BJP leader Yeddyurappa’s decision to walk out of the party, which brought the KJP into the limelight. The party now looks like a force to reckon with.
The former chief minister is all set to take over the KJP to nurture his future political dreams. His loyalist and former Union Minister V Dhananjay Kumar has already been made the KJP president, while founder president Prasanna will work as a vice president.
“Yeddyurappa is my leader and under his leadership we are hopeful of wining nearly 150 seats,’’ says Prasanna, who runs his family-owned business, which he refuses to reveal.
He has no political experience, except working as a general secretary of little known Kannada Nadu party floated by businessman-turned politician
Vijay Sankeshwar, now a BJP MLC. “I have not contested any election and I do not intend to contest any. We will identify and field candidates with right credentials,’’ says Prasanna, against whom a case related to Rs 8 lakh cheque bounce is pending in a local court in Bellary.
He says, “I always wanted to launch a regional party that can fight for the rights of people of the state. On August 8, 2008, I approached the Election Commission and our party was registered in 2011.” Prasanna claims his party has “around 50,000 members’’ and within the next few days the number will increase. “Yeddyurappa and I will tour the state together to build the party,’’ he adds.
The KJP’s new president Dhananjay Kumar concurs. “The KJP will emerge as an alternative to Congress and BJP in Karnataka,’’ says Kumar.
BJP leaders in the state are keenly watching the developments in the KJP. Knowing fully well that KJP will dent their political prospects, BJP leaders made efforts to dissuade the Lingayat strongman from leaving the party. Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, State Unit BJP President K S Eshwarappa even tried to convince the BJP high command to retain Yeddyurappa in the party. All such efforts failed to cut much ice with the former chief minister, who is all set to launch (re-launch) KJP in Haveri in North Karnataka on December 9.
“Yeddyurappa is a mass leader and his exit from the party will have major impact. The KJP will field its candidates in all 224 seats and it will be a major force in the state,’’ says a minister in the BJP government who does not want to be named.
Opposition Congress and Janata Dal (Secular), however, do not seem to be too concerned about the developments within the BJP and KJP. “We are not worried about Yeddyurappa joining new party. He is floating the party with the only intention to hurt the BJP and JD (S)’s prospects, but, people of the state will teach him a befitting lesson,’’ says former chief minister and JD (S) state unit president HD Kumaraswamy.
According to Political analysts KJP will certainly eat into BJP’s votes and in the bargain the Congress that is trying hard to regain some of its lost ground in the state is likely to be the benefactor. As the debate over Yeddyurappa and KJP’s future continue, all these seem to have come as a pleasant surprise to Prasanna. It is a matter of time that he might go into oblivion once Yeddyurappa comes into the centre stage by officially joining the KJP on December 9.
- Sunday Standard