BJP fields karyakartas, leaves BSY and state unit red-faced

No sooner the JDS-Congress government came crashing after an engineered Op Kamal, B.S. Yediyurappa knew that it was his last political outing at the seat of power and that it was just payback by Narendra Modi and Amit Shah for the Lingayat strongman’s 2014 unflinching support to the duo to lead the Lok Sabha elections. Even as he took oath for the fourth time as the chief minister of Karnataka, at the back his mind, he knew that the baton had to be passed soon and the only question was when.

Looking at the turn of events ever since BSY occupied the top post, it seems like it is a matter of a year or less before the central BJP takes complete control of party affairs as far as Karnataka is concerned. And that the party has already put the plan in action towards post BSY polity in the state.

The first blow to BSY was when the party high command pushed for three deputy chief ministers, all unexpected names as against senior party leaders, later nominating Nalin Kateel as state party head without Yediyurappa’s consent. And the latest one is nominating greenhorns/karyakarstas/ party loyalists to two Rajya Sabha seats.

The run up to RS nominations has been quite rough for BSY as midnight dinner politics echoed change in guard by many BSY detractors. This was seen as just a threat to garner RS nomination by political pundits. BSY on his part did some damage control by nominating some rebels for boards and corporations and also doling out additional portfolios.

BJP insiders say last Saturday’s core committee had suggested three names— Prabhakar Kore, Ramesh Katti and hotelier Prakash Shetty of Goldfinch. The exercise was to contain rebellion, and also re-nominate educationist Kore along with Shetty, a money bag who has long supported BSY.

“But the bolt from the blue came on Sunday when the central BJP released names of Ashok Gasthi and Eranna Kadadi, political novices who were defeated in several elections for the prestigious RS elections. The release was in Hindi and the message was loud and clear—we will take over from here! It was a message to BSY, party office bearers and sulking senior leaders who are identified as anti-BSY. It was stern message to all those involved in dinner politics that the party won’t heed to blackmailing,” sources said.

Clearly, this has the stamp of B.L. Santosh all over it. He has been creating “harakiri” ever since he took charge as general secretary of the party, said another highlyplaced source in the BJP. “Politics is all about forming consensus but many decisions are being thrust on the state BJP which is upsetting the applecart. You can’t create a mass leader who can be any match to BSY in the BJP. The legacy can only be carried forwarded with the consent of the Lingayat strongman. He might be ageing but he still has the hunger to be around and if anyone tries to elbow him, then there will repercussions,” he said.

Minutes before the filing of nominations, BSY braved the media stating that state BJP had suggested some names but the central BJP decided on karyakartas and that he welcomed the move as it would inspire many partymen at the grassroots to work for the party with more dedication.

The writing on the wall is clear—that the BJP in Karnataka is in transition already. However, it might be little too soon to write the political obituary of the man who posted the saffron flag down the Vindyas on four occasions!

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