DVS, KSE prove 'silent killers'

Chief ministers camp has kept a low profile; doesnt resort to show of strength

 This time around there seems to be slight change in the script of the “BJP crisis,” being played out on and off in the State. Unlike in the past, Yeddyurappa’s rival camp is not resorting to show-of-strength stunts. Instead, it is keeping a low profile.

Usually, the “BJP crisis” story is about two rival camps garnering the support of MLAs and holding secret, strategy parleys in star hotels to further their own interests. While Lingayat strongman Yeddyurappa stuck to his old ways of showing off strength, his rivals Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda and K S Eshwarappa changed their plan: The duo projected themselves as party loyalists and tried to counter Yeddyurappa by projecting him and his followers as the rebels indulging in anti-party activities.

Both Gowda and Eshwarappa held a press conference at the former’s official residence ‘Anugraha’ to announce the party’s official candidates for the Rajya Sabha elections. They both expressed confidence that the party bosses in Delhi would soon resolve the issue. Later in the evening, they held a meeting at the party office and took disciplinary action against Yeddyurappa’s close aide B J Puttaswamy for jumping into the fray for the Rajya Sabha polls as a rebel candidate.

The duo are hoping that the party high command will take a tough stand against Yeddyurappa and his followers.

There are reasons for Gowda and Eshwarappa to maintain low profile: First, most of the MLAs who are not identified with the Yeddyurappa camp are loyal to the party and not to any leader, including the chief minister. A majority of these MLAs are from coastal and Malnad districts, where the BJP has a strong base. Moreover, these MLAs fear opposing Gowda, who hails from the coastal region.

Second, senior party leader Jagadish Shettar has now joined hands with Yeddyurappa. Shettar, the Lingayat leader from North Karnataka, used to lead the anti-Yeddyurappa camp. Hence, the DVS camp does not have a strong Lingayat leader who can take the BSY camp head on.

There is another faction in the State party, which is led by Minister for Municipal Administration Balachandra Jarkiholi. It is a group of nine MLAs, who were disqualified from the Assembly membership for withdrawing support to then government led by Yeddyurappa in 2010. They later got their membership restored by the Supreme Court.

Since then, these MLAs, except two of them, are staying together as a separate group opposed to Yeddyurappa in the party. They have now pledged their support to Gowda.
Eshwarappa sarcastically said that Yeddyurappa had taken MLAs to a resort to discuss about strengthening the party. “He is a senior leader. He has the responsibility to organise the party and he is doing it,” he said. In an effort to show that it is very much part of the party, the Yeddyurappa camp rushed many of its prominent leaders to Vidhana Soudha at the time of the party candidates filing nomination papers for the Rajya Sabha poll. Yeddyurappa’s staunch followers, including Shobha Karandlaje, Umesh Katti and Udasi, were present.

‘BJPLP after budget’
On the demand by the Yeddyurappa loyalists that the Legislature Party meeting be convened immediately, Gowda said his priority is to present the budget. The BJPLP will be convened after the budget, if necessary, he added.

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