3 years of rebellion and scams

Yeddyurappa has survived at least 3 serious attempts to dethrone him

3 years of rebellion and scams

Mired in frequent controversies and conflicts within, the  Yeddyurappa-led government seems to be running out of time when it comes to development work. DH Photo

For Bookanakere Siddalingappa Yeddyurappa, who worked his way for nearly more than three decades to install the first BJP government in South India, the going was anything but smooth as chief minister.

Yeddyurappa almost faced the insult of being removed by his own party central leadership on charges of nepotism, had to face three waves of dissidence and the threat of President’s Rule being imposed in the State twice. Rubbing salt into Yeddyurappa’s wounds was the expose of a slew of land denotification scams implicating him and his sons.

The controversies and scams that marred the State government during the last three years overshadowed its populist programmes, including providing loan at one per cent interest to farmers, the Bhagyalakshmi scheme, bicycles for students and a slew of pension schemes for the poor. It is no surprise that more than the development projects taken up by the Government, it was the problems faced by the ruling party that were discussed in the public domain.

The Government also came in for criticism from the Opposition parties for indulging in “Operation Lotus” to consolidate its position in the Assembly.

Electoral gains

But, luck favoured Yeddyurappa each time at the hustings. The BJP has won with handsome margins in most of the elections and bypolls it has faced since 2008.

The party secured 19 of the 28 Lok Sabha seats during 2009, bagged the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Council the next year and in its most recent victory made a clean sweep of three Assembly seats where bypolls were held during April. The BJP now has majority with 120 seats including the Speaker, in the 224-member in the Legislative Assembly.

Yeddyurappa’s nature was one of the main causes for the dissident activity in the party through the last 36-month tenure of his chief ministership. The first round of major dissidence came during October 2009, when the Reddy brothers of Bellary raised a banner of revolt against his leadership. The second bout of dissidence came a year later just two weeks after Yeddyurappa claimed to have asserted himself and reshuffled the Cabinet by sacking three ministers, including Goolihatti Shekar and Shivanagouda Naik.

The rebellion led to the disqualification of 11 BJP legislators and five independent MLAs who had supported the Government.

In March this year, the rebels camps united to launch ‘oust Yeddyurappa’ campaign citing that the corruption charges against the Chief Minister and his family members have dented the image of the party.

Yeddyurappa played his community card well emerging out of the crises by making it appear to the BJP central leadership that any action against him would result in the erosion of the party’s Lingayat vote base.

Governor H R Bhardwaj, who has emerged as a bete noire of Yeddyurappa, recommended imposition of the President’s Rule in the State twice during the last six months, each time citing that there had been a breakdown of Constitutional mechanism in the State. But the Centre rejected the Governor’s report on both occasions.

Several challenges lie ahead for the Chief Minister in the coming days, including the much-delayed Cabinet expansion. There are seven vacancies and list of aspirants for ministerial berths too many.

Yeddyurappa will also be fighting legal battles over cases filed against him by two advocates, who got the Governor’s sanction to prosecute him. The outcome of the court verdict will have an impact on his continuance.

At present, there is a lull in the political scene. But more flash points and drama is bound to be in store, as it is been said in political circles, “break ke baad” (after the break).

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