The OTT platforms, the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime, seem to provide the format of politics now. Already it’s not the news ticker of the past or even TV channels that give us the ‘breaking news’. Social media is the place. B S Yediyurappa’s tearful goodbye as chief minister, on the day his government completed two years, played out live on Twitter.
The 78-year-old’s philosophical invocation of Basavanna, his thank-you note to the BJP high command for ‘allowing’ him to rule Karnataka for two years all of that. The actual political saga could well be thought of as a political thriller playing out in serialised form, much like one of those popular OTT shows. Season 1 is over with BSY’s trip to Raj Bhawan with his formal resignation, in the making for the past few months, if not a year. Season 2 is awaited. The suspense about who will succeed BSY is still on.
Like good serials, there are rivals, but this is not about the Congress or JD(S) pulling him down prematurely, before the Assembly’s term ends. This is entirely wrought by some internal shifting of sands within his own party. The BJP has deemed it fit that there be a new, presumably younger, chief minister—leading on to 2023 (when Karnataka goes to polls) and 2024. BSY, despite being the BJP’s only mass leader south of the Vindhyas, is no doubt of some vintage.
And politics, unlike old wine, needs to regenerate. Thus the four-time chief minister will yet again have to vacate the chair without completing his term. Whether BSY will walk into the sunset or rise to script another story, only time can tell. Or his health will determine. The fact that it was BSY who broke away the Congress and JD(S) MLAs to form the incumbent Karnataka government cannot be ignored. Meanwhile, whoever succeeds him as the next chief minister must hit the road running. There’s a possible Covid third wave, and the usual floods.