Karnataka BJP's legislative firepower dims as key leaders move to Lok Sabha

With influential speakers like Basavaraj Bommai and HD Kumaraswamy now in Delhi, the BJP struggles to maintain its lofty strength in the Karnataka legislature.
Former Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai.
Former Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai.(File Photo | EPS)

BENGALURU: As Karnataka prepares for the legislative session, the BJP’s lineup of speakers appears to have lost much firepower. With former CMs Basavaraj Bommai, Jagadish Shettar and HD Kumaraswamy being elected to the Lok Sabha, the Opposition’s attack on the Siddaramaiah government is likely to be blunted.

Bommai was Shiggaon MLA, while Shettar was an MLC. NDA ally and JDS leader HD Kumaraswamy, who was Channapatna MLA, has shifted base to Delhi as a Union minister.

It is no secret that BJP’s vigour in the legislature was vastly toned down since the 2023 polls, with elder statesman BS Yediyurappa walking into retirement, and leaders like former minister JC Madhuswamy and CT Ravi, both extremely capable speakers who could hit out at the opponent camp, facing defeat. Ravi has now been accommodated in the Council.

BJP MLC Adagur Vishwanath agreed that the BJP lacks fiery orators. “While there are many issues and lapses of the Congress government that need to be highlighted, it appears the BJP leadership is failing to fix this issue. Leaders like Yediyurappa, Bommai and Shettar who are known for their oratorical skills, are no longer in the assembly. BJP needs leaders to speak effectively and attack the ruling party and fix responsibility,” he said.

Political analyst BS Murthy said, “With Dilli Chalo orders for three CMs -- HD Kumaraswamy, Basavaraj Bommai and Jagadish Shettar -- it looks like a clear advantage for Congress in the legislature for the moment.’’

One senior politician said, “Stalwarts and powerful orators from the BJP’s erstwhile front row are missing and there is concern about the lackadaisical performance of present leaders. If the BJP leadership doesn’t perform in the Assembly, action will shift to the Council, where CT Ravi is known for his oratory.”

Once a formidable force, the BJP will have to rely on Opposition leader R Ashoka and party president BY Vijayendra. “They have the potential, and the opportunity is also there. The house will be waiting for them to deliver. The other options are Munirathna and Byrathi Basavaraj, or former ministers Suresh Kumar and Sunil Kumar,” a party source said.

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