BJP in Karnataka an Existential Crisis by Adyasha Ranbir

DV Sadananda Gowda,the new CM, happened to possess a will of his own and rapidly gained popularity.

The ruling party in the state has been mired in countless controversies and this time there seems no possible solution to claw its way back in the good graces of its populace. These deplorable circumstances are in no way the result of a single infraction, rather a systematic chipping away of the party’s credibility.

It all started with the infamous mining scam. One wonders if it was mere stupidity or immense belief in his power that egged the then chief minister B.S.Yedyurappa to misuse the educational trust set by his family in order to forward the mining application of a company thereby enjoying pecuniary benefits of over 20 crore. The fact that he shielded the allegedly corrupt Reddy brothers did nothing to help matters. The fallout that resulted in its aftermath saw the resignations of three ministers holding important portfolios. This incident left the party high command scrambling for answers in the face of its own allegations of corruption against the central government.

After a lot of unnecessary dawdling and deliberation, they finally decided to oust Yedyurappa in favour of a cleaner personality. But we then saw the emergence of a sullen BSY who held fast to the chair, for he had the support of the lingayatsconsidered to be a stronghold in the votebank, and held the BJP hostage. After the arrest of one of his ministers who also happened to be a close aide, he reluctantly relinquished his chair, having been given the word that it would return back to him in a short duration of 6 months and the next CM would merely be a puppet in his hands.

DV Sadananda Gowda,the new CM, happened to possess a will of his own and rapidly gained popularity.

But things rarely turn out the way we hope them to and the BJP learnt it the hard way. DV Sadananda Gowda,the new CM, happened to possess a will of his own and rapidly gained popularity. He refused to adhere to BSY’s strictures on all pertinent matters and hence earned his displeasure. To top it off the BJP seemed in no hurry to offer the seat back to BSY who read all the signs and became restless. Thence began the ugly process of veiled insults and demeaning endeavours. Salvos were fired left and right, camps were chosen and party infighting took on a new life of its own.

To complicate matters further, three ministers from the Yedyurappa camp decided to indulge in a few moments of cheap titillation in the hallowed halls of the Vidhana Soudha, one of them being the women and child development minister (remember the guy who said  provocative dressing  by girls invited rape). Watching porn in the assembly mayn’t have landed them in this quagmire hadn’t a few resourceful cameramen caught them in the act. With their notoriety flashed across the local TV channels, the red faced ministers sputtered out a litany of excuses which no one pretended to believe.

Feeling the game slip out of his hands, BSY anted up the attacks and defiantly set a deadline to the high command to reinstate him. This gimmick backfired miserably when the high command turned a deaf ear to his demands.

But that doesn’t mean they are oblivious to his innumerable supporters who would follow him in a heartbeat. DVS himself has tried to sweet talk him into making peace and so have the party bigwigs. With more and more seats of the ruling party remaining vacant in the face of resignations by the ministers accused in porngate and the untimely death of VS Acharya, the education minister, they can’t afford to anger Yedyurappa or his legion of supporters. But nor can they mutely tolerate his unreasonable demands and threats of mutiny.

The party thus has been caught in an impasse with no way out in sight. Even without party dissidents they have to fill in the vacant portfolios quickly. And if God forbid the rebels take matters into their hands the state will fast be plunged into by polls. On the other hand a tainted chief minister would considerably dull their darts at a scam hit Congress. So these are trying times indeed and unless a resolution is reached valuable legislative hours would be spent on inconsequential shows of power with no one having more to lose than the common man.

This is a Guest Post by Adyasha Ranbir
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