Few takers in Karnataka BJP for nation-first mantra (Karnataka Newsletter)March 10th, 2012 - 1:42 pm ICT by IANS
Bangalore, March 10 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) goes to great lengths to claim that its members are driven by the motto of ‘nation-first, party-second and individual-last’. But the actions of its members in Karnataka show it is just a catchphrase, not something to live by.
The BJP stormed to power for the first time in the state in May 2008, ironically, on the ‘me and my community’ platform and heads for the last year of its present term on the same note.
Four years back, the BJP allowed its leader B.S. Yeddyurappa to portray then coalition partner Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) as a betrayer, not of the party, but of him and his Lingayat community.
The JD-S was perceived to be dominated by another community, the Vokkaligas, and the BJP had strong support among Lingayats. The two had formed a coalition in 2006 on the understanding that the two parties will share the chief ministership for 20 months each.
H.D. Kumaraswamy, son of JD-S president and former prime minister H.D. Deve Gowda, did not stick to his word of vacating the chief minister’s chair for Yeddyurappa, who was deputy chief minister in the coalition government.
Yeddyurappa seized the opportunity to paint the JD-S’ failure to honour its word as a betrayal of the Lingayat community by the Vokkaligas. The two communities are seen as rivals for political power in the state.
BJP central leaders ignored complaints and warnings by several Karnataka unit leaders of the dangers of seeking people’s mandate on the platform of “I and my community”.
But sniffing the possibility of coming to power on its own for the first time in southern India, the BJP virtually turned a deaf ear to the warnings.
Now the ‘betrayal’ theme has come back to haunt it as Yeddyurappa and his supporters are virtually on the war path to unseat ‘betrayer’ D.V. Sadananda Gowda from chief ministership.
Gowda became chief minister Aug 4 last year after Yeddyurappa was forced to quit July 31 following the then Lokayukta N. Santosh Hegde recommending his trial for bribery in return for favour to a mining company.
Yeddyurappa and his supporters claim that Gowda had promised to quit six months after taking over to allow reinstatement of his predecessor. It is not known whether the BJP central leaders were a party to this understanding.
They also did not make any effort in the last six months to clear the air with the people of Karnataka as well as their own party members on whether they disapproved of such pacts between Gowda and Yeddyurappa.
Their inaction will cost them and the party dearly as the state high court Wednesday set aside the Lokayukta decision against Yeddyurappa, following which he and his supporters are clamouring for his immediate reinstatement.
Though there is a possibility of the high court verdict in favour of Yeddyurappa being challenged in the Supreme Court, he and his supporters are not willing to wait.
“Our central leaders, including party chief Nitin Gadkari, had promised my reinstatement once I am cleared of the charges in the mining case. I have been cleared. I expect them to honour their word,” Yeddyurappa has been chanting since Wednesday evening.
Faced with the prospect of being dubbed by a section of its party in Karnataka as “betrayers” in case they do not agree to re-instate Yeddyurappa immediately, BJP central leaders’ only hope now is the Lokayukta and the Supreme Court.
They must be desperately waiting for the Lokayukta to move the Supreme Court at the earliest and hoping the apex court will stay the high court ruling favouring Yeddyurappa.
Either way, for the people of Karnataka the BJP’s maiden rule seems destined to end on the sour note that it began - betrayal.
(V.S. Karnic can be contacted at email@example.com)
- Caste-based religious leaders muddy BJP power struggle (Karnataka Newsletter) - Mar 25, 2012
- Shock, disgust in Karnataka over BJP power struggle (Karnataka Newsletter) - Jul 13, 2012
- Vokkaligas protest Gowda's removal in Karnataka - Jul 09, 2012
- Bitter caste battles grip Congress and BJP (Karnataka Newsletter) - Jun 22, 2012
- BJP faces embarrassment, trouble as polls near (Karnataka Newsletter) - May 12, 2012
- Yeddurappa exit signals end of troubled rule - Jul 31, 2011
- Caste-dominated politics still rule in IT land Karnataka (Letter from Bangalore) - Nov 22, 2010
- Yeddyurappa: Clerk to chief minister to undertrial No.10462 - Oct 16, 2011
- Yeddyurappa awaits meeting with Gadkari, party decision (Lead) - Nov 23, 2010
- Decision on Yeddyurappa Wednesday morning: BJP (Night Lead) - Nov 23, 2010
- BJP to take final decision on Yeddyurappa Wednesday (Roundup) - Nov 24, 2010
- Congress gets active as ruling BJP crisis continues (Lead, Karnataka Newsletter) - May 19, 2012
- Congress gets active as ruling BJP crisis continues (Karnataka Newsletter) - May 19, 2012
- Caste equation scores over clean administration in Karnataka (News Analysis) (Lead) - Jul 08, 2012
- Bitter 2012 for Karnataka after scandalous year (Karnataka Newsletter) - Dec 31, 2011
Tags: betrayal, betrayer, bharatiya janata party, bjp, catchphrase, central leaders, chief ministership, coalition government, coalition partner, community platform, deaf ear, deputy chief minister, deve gowda, former prime minister, great lengths, jd, kumaraswamy, southern india, unit leaders, war path