Kumaraswamy's stock grows: A rising star in NDA as Karnataka turmoil looms

This makes it clear that Kumaraswamy's stock is only growing within the NDA-BJP alliance.
Union Minister HD Kumaraswamy.
Union Minister HD Kumaraswamy.File Photo

BENGALURU: Union Minister of State for Railways V Somanna recently said that only JDS leader and Union Minister of Heavy Industries and Steel HD Kumaraswamy knows when the Congress government in Karnataka will fall.

Kumaraswamy himself had indicated that the government in the state will be dislodged by December this year. What is interesting is that Somanna did not direct his remarks at BJP leader BS Yediyurappa, who has successfully executed four rounds of Operation Lotus in Karnataka, but at Kumaraswamy, who has emerged as a prominent leader within the NDA block in the state.

Somanna’s comments could be because of infighting within BJP between factions aligning with Yediyurappa and BL Santhosh, which are fighting for control of the party state unit. There is also talk of Leader of Opposition R Ashoka being changed and replaced with OBC leader Sunil Kumar or some other candidate sometime in the future. BJP leaders themselves confess that the party is a divided house and Somanna recently stated that lack of coordination within the party led to its poor show in the Lok Sabha elections in the Kalyan-Karnataka region.

Though former CMs Basavaraj Bommai and Jagadish Shettar and Pralhad Joshi too have been elected MPs, it is Kumaraswamy who has emerged as the strongest NDA leader from Karnataka, bagging the important portfolios of steel and heavy industries. This makes it clear that Kumarswamy’s stock is only growing within the NDA-BJP alliance.

Political observers said that Kumaraswamy has come a long way since 2006 when he used to sit in the back benches of JDS in the Assembly, chatting with Santosh Lad, who was with JDS then, or Balraj, who is not an MLA anymore, or Zameer Ahmed Khan, who too was part of JDS. Many recall how no one took him seriously. Starting off as a film distributor, he used to shuttle between Bengaluru and Holenarasipur, where the family owns a cinema, Chennamma Theatre. He soon became a mega mobiliser by bringing together JDS and BJP MLAs to bring down the Dharam Singh government in 2006.

An astute politician, when Kumaraswamy says a government will fall, no one can take him lightly. Though the task appears onerous, nothing is impossible when he is around.

Janata Darshan in Mandya

Union Minister of Heavy Industries and Steel HD Kumaraswamy will hold a Janata Darshan to receive grievances and petitions from people, in his constituency Mandya on Friday. Sources said officials from the district administration are expected to participate. The minister’s office had written to the Mandya District Collector to make arrangements for the programme and Ambedkar Bhavan has been selected as the venue.

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