BJP’s unsavoury week ends on stormy noteAugust 3rd, 2011 - 7:13 pm ICT by IANS
Bangalore, Aug 3 (IANS) It was a week the BJP would like to forget.
Slogan-shouting and jostling marred the election of D.V. Sadananda Gowda as the new leader of Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) legislature wing in a contest meant to decide who will be the next Karnataka chief minister.
The 58-year-old emerged narrowly victorious in a secret ballot held after desperate efforts to reach a consensus over the two contenders — Gowda and Rural Development Minister Jagadish Shettar — failed.
Gowda got 62 votes and Shettar 55. The party has 120 members but only 117 voted.
But the election exposed the faultlines in the BJP, a party which has always prided on unity and discipline.
On Wednesday, Lokayukta (ombudsman) N. Santosh Hegde recommended the trial of the 68-year-old outgoing chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa for corruption arising out of illegal mining.
The BJP leadership met in New Delhi Thursday and “unanimously” decided that Yeddyurappa should go.
But it did not expect its “loyal soldier” to defy its marching orders.
He held out for three days, and finally quit Sunday after the BJP conveyed to him that he and his supporters would be expelled.
Even before Yeddyurappa submitted his resignation Sunday, the party began the exercise of finding a successor.
Here too it encountered unexpected resistance for consensus.
Central leaders Rajnath Singh and Arun Jaitley worked for over two days. On Wednesday came the showdown between the rival groups.
Gowda is a Lok Sabha member from Udupi-Chikmagalur constituency, about 400 km from Bangalore.
State party chief K.S. Eshwarappa, Yeddyurappa’s bete noire, and Bangalore South Lok Sabha member and general secretary H.N. Ananth Kumar and their supporters were dead set against Gowda.
They feared that if Gowda became the chief minister, real power would be with Yeddyurappa.
So they put up Shettar, 56, as their candidate.
For three days, legislators belonging to the two groups stayed in hotels in Bangalore, holding countless meetings.
BJP central leaders rejected Yeddyurappa’s demand that he be made the state party chief.
A secret ballot was held after a noisy meeting ended amid jostling at a hotel in city centre Wednesday.
Gowda has just 22 months - the assembly’s term expires in May 2013 - to bring governance back on rails, after a week of virtual rule by officials as ministers were sucked into party affairs.
The immediate problem will be forming a cohesive ministry and ensuring a smooth working relationship with the party apparatus.
- Gowda to be new Karnataka chief minister (Lead) - Aug 03, 2011
- Voting on to elect Yeddyurappa's successor (Lead) - Aug 03, 2011
- Ballot to pick Yeddyurappa successor if no consensus (Lead) - Aug 02, 2011
- Sadananda Gowda to be BJP's new Karnataka chief minister (Second Lead) - Aug 03, 2011
- No consensus in BJP on Yeddyurappa's successor - Jul 31, 2011
- BJP struggles for consensus on Yeddyurappa's successor - Aug 02, 2011
- Gowda to be chief minister Thursday, Yeddyurappa faces trial - Aug 03, 2011
- Congress wins Lok Sabha bypoll, Gowda faces exit (Second Lead) - Mar 21, 2012
- Over 60 percent voting in Karnataka Lok Sabha bypoll (Second Lead) - Mar 18, 2012
- Gowda becomes Karantaka chief minister, opponents boycott ceremony (Night Lead) - Aug 04, 2011
- Gowda is Karnataka chief minister, opponents boycott swearing-in (Second Lead) - Aug 04, 2011
- Rajnath, Jaitley in Bangalore, new chief minister Wednesday (Second Lead) - Aug 03, 2011
- Yeddyurappa quits but stalls successor's election (Night Lead) - Aug 01, 2011
- Shettar to take oath as Karnataka CM Thursday, power struggle continues (Second Lead) - Jul 10, 2012
- Karnataka chief minister wins legislative council poll (Second Lead) - Dec 22, 2011
Tags: ananth kumar, arun jaitley, bete noire, bharatiya janata party, bjp leadership, central leaders, desperate efforts, development minister, faultlines, gowda, jagadish, karnataka chief minister, lok sabha member, lokayukta, loyal soldier, party chief, rival groups, santosh, secret ballot, unexpected resistance