How Shettar fell for BSY bait

The Hubli strongman had never gone against the party

Senior leader and Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister Jagadish Shettar openly staging a rebellion by resigning along with eight other ministers of the Yeddyurappa camp on Friday, has come as a surprise to many, especially the party old-timers and those who know him closely.

Shettar was known in the party circles as a disciplinarian and a staunch Sangh Parivar ideologue. Though he had witnessed many upheavals in his long political career, he had never gone against the party, let alone staging a rebellion. The big question now making the rounds is whether Shettar is a pawn in Yeddyurappa’s political game.

A section of party leaders believes that Yeddyurappa is making use of Shettar not only to oust Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda but to consolidate his position as the leader of Lingayat community, which is a prominent vote bank of the BJP in the State.

The Yeddyurappa camp has decided to take the political crisis to the logical end and it is now ready to resort to any step to remove Gowda, who is being accused of dancing to the tunes of the JD(S). Yeddyurappa loyalists do not want the blame of dislodging the Gowda-led government to fall on Yeddyurappa, if such a situation arises. Hence, the former chief minister has chosen to remain behind the scene during the present crisis, the party sources said.

Besides, by projecting Shettar, who is also a Lingayat, as his candidate for the post of chief minister, Yeddyurappa wants to consolidate his diminishing image as the undisputed Lingayat leader.

Even if he succeeds in his plan to oust Gowda and install Shettar as the chief minister, he and his followers will ensure that the party goes to polls at the earliest in the State, sources pointed out.

Shettar has given enough indications that his decision to lead the rebellion against Gowda was half-hearted.

He was initially reluctant to resign, but Yeddyurappa loyalists forced him to do so. He was supposed to address the media at his official residence “Kaveri” on Saturday to expose Gowda of his “misdeeds.” But he stepped back at the last minute. Instead, the Yeddyurappa loyalists addressed the media on his behalf.

‘BSY is not the instigator’

Meanwhile, ministers loyal to Yeddyurappa who tendered their resignation on Saturday went out of their way to assert that Yeddyurappa was not the instigator of the latest rebellion in the party.

“It is unfortunate that a section of the media is holding Yeddyurappa responsible for the crisis. It is Gowda who is to be blamed. We were forced to resign as the chief minister failed to take the entire Cabinet into confidence,” Minister for Public Works C M Udasi alleged.

Skips event

Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister Jagadish Shettar, who is in the middle of his party’s deepening crisis,  skipped an event of his own department on Saturday. The department had organised a programme to felicitate the best performing gram panchayats in the State. Though the chief minister made it to the programme, Shettar, who has tendered his resignation to the former, chose to keep away from it, though his resignation has not been accepted.

DVS camp

Pradhan has met both factions. The party high command and our (Gowda’s) faction have requested the ministers to withdraw their resignations. I am confident the stalemate will end soon, as Delhi leaders will resolve the problem sooner than later.
S A Ramdas,
Medical Education Minister

Former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa is responsible for the present political crisis. The central leadership should initiate disciplinary action against him. There is no need for a change in leadership. He (Sadananda Gowda) has been doing good work.
B N Bacche Gowda,
Labour Minister

BSY Camp

People like minister Bacche Gowda have no moral authority to speak about Yeddyurappa. Gowda himself is a party-hopper and has never been loyal to any party. He quit the JD(S) to join the BJP, and now he is all set to join the Congress. Last week, he had asked me too to join the Congress with him.
Suresh Gowda, BJP MLA

We have held a detailed discussion with Pradhan and aired our grouses. He looks like he is convinced with our argument. He will hold parleys with senior leaders who will devise a compromise formula. The crisis will be resolved soon. We will adhere to any decision taken by the high command.
Basavaraj Bommai,
Water Resources Minister

Neutral leaders

The Assembly should be dissolved and the BJP should go for elections. That is the only solution for the party which is embroiled in so many problems.

I am in touch with all the nine ministers who have resigned, and efforts will be made to ensure that the ministers withdraw their resignation. I have not identified with either of the factions. I am a loyal party worker. The high command has already been apprised of the situation. I am sure the crisis will be resolved by this evening.
R Ashoka, Home Minister

Why should Sadananda Gowda, who has done no wrong, resign? First Gowda will be removed. In his place somebody else will be brought in. Later attempts will be made to oust that person as well. The fallout of this continuing slugfest has taken a toll on MLAs like me, who have not associated ourselves with either of the factions. It is not right to sacrifice the government and the party’s interest for the selfish gains of a few leaders. Internal bickering will cost the BJP dearly in the next elections.
   M Srinivas
   BJP legislator

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