BANGALORE: Former Karnataka chief minister B S Yeddyurappa
instated present Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda in the hot seat with a hope that he will keep it warm till his return. Yeddyurappa, however, nowadays is finding it difficult to digest the fact that Gowda has slowly emerged as a mass leader and is liked by majority of the legislators. To Yeddyurappa’s chagrin, the Bharatiya Janata Party high command is also backing Gowda in this game of one upmanship.
Since his return from the jail, Yeddyurappa is desperate to get back to the Chief Minister’s hot seat. This could be the reason behind him ridiculing the concept of collective leadership in Karnataka as proposed by the BJP national leaders. Yedyurappa said: “Have you ever heard of two heads running a family? There is no place for collective leadership in politics.” Least did he expect that he would be encountered by his own prodigy. Gowda, to everybody’s surprise, hit back at his mentor stating that the leadership issue is something that needs to be decided by the party national leaders and not by anyone in the state. State BJP president K S Eshwarappa also joined the chorus by saying, “Yeddyurappa will not be conferred upon any position in the state BJP as long as he doesn’t gets a clean chit from the charges against him.”
According to sources, Yeddyurappa wanted Gowda to voluntarily offer his resignation when he made his comeback efforts after getting bail in all cases against him. But to his dismay, Gowda not only rejected his mentor’s wish, but also went on to consolidate his position, taking advantage of the presence of a large anti-Yeddyurappa group at the state and national BJP level.
The first signs of furore started appearing in the public during the Legislative Council by-election. The by-election was necessitated to pave way for Gowda, so that he could become a member of the Council and continue as the chief minister of the state. Yeddyurappa tried his best to stop Gowda from filing nominations, but Gowda backed by the party high command, particularly patriarch L K Advani, went ahead and even won the election. Gowda also thwarted Yeddyurappa’s plans to defeat him by ensuring a warning from the party high command that everybody should work for the party candidate and it would not tolerate any deviation from this stand.
After his setback in the first -round, Yeddyurappa tried to stop Gowda from resigning his Parliament membership at least till Janaury 15, but in vein. According to sources, Yeddyurappa, a strong believer in astrology, is told by his astrologers that his good times would start once the on-going Dhanur Masa (considered to be an inauspicious month) ends on January 14. On this too, Gowda defied Yeddyurappa and resigned his Lok Sabha membership on December 28.
Now that Gowda has made his intentions clear, Yeddyurappa is left with a very little choice, either to garner support of majority MLAs to get his wish fulfilled or to adjust with the present set-up till his name is cleared from all cases. The growing popularity of Gowda among legislators cutting across the party lines has made Yeddyurappa feel insecure about his future in the party.
This apart, the ongoing shadow fighting between Advani and Yeddyurappa, whose relations have reached an all-time low is also working in Gowda’s favour. Advani, after being snubbed by Yeddyurappa’s supporters during his public rally, the “Janachetana Yatra” is seeing it as an opportunity to pay back by extending full support to Gowda. Advani is so angry that he is said to have threatened to quit BJP if Yeddyurappa was given any post. Gowda’s hobnobbing with his detractors within and outside BJP has also irked Yeddyurappa.