BENGALURU : The BJP top central and state leadership went into a tizzy after coming to know that Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa’s was planning to grant the OBC tag to numerically and politically significant Lingayat community on Thursday. But they worked hard behind the scenes and pulled the strings at the very top to checkmate the chief minister.
The leaders were not aware of the decision till it was listed in the agenda of the cabinet meeting on Thursday evening. The topic, ‘OBC for Lingayats’, at number 27 was the last in the list. Immediately, some party members brought it to the notice of state party president Naleen Kumar Kateel, who swung into action and informed Home Minister Amit Shah, party national president J P Nadda and party national general secretary (organisation) B L Santhosh, who is from Karnataka.
Then, Santhosh is said to have briefed party central leaders, including Shah and Nadda. The state party unit had, meanwhile, spoken to four cabinet ministers and asked them to argue on technical grounds that if the OBC tag was granted to Lingayats, it would reduce the share for other communities.
The ministers, whose identities were not revealed, were briefed late into the night on the number of communities in the OBC bracket, and other technical issues. They were told firmly to stick to their stand.
The alarm bells started ringing within the party, as the CM was going ahead with the crucial decision when most of the cabinet ministers were in New Delhi and the issue was not discussed at any of the party forums earlier. Some party leaders even went up to the chief minister and urged him not to do anything hasty.
Still no one was sure whether it could be defused, till the all-important phone call came from Amit Shah to Yediyurappa on the morning of Friday, the day of the cabinet meeting. It was this phone conversation that stopped the chief minister in his tracks, party sources said.