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Karnataka parties and their CM candidates
Vicky Nanjappa in Bangalore | December 06, 2007 12:03 IST
Karnataka is in poll mode and all parties are too busy canvassing and planning their election strategy. Every party has to have a star campaigner who ultimately goes on to become the chief minister.
Let us take a look at who the political parties have chosen to become the chief minister of Karnataka.
At present it seems as though all the parties seem to have a problem as to who would be the chief ministerial candidate.
The BJP: Given the mood today, it seems as though the the Bharatiya Janata Party has the upper hand in the elections. The party is riding very high on the sympathy wave that has been created in its favour after the double ditching it got from the Janata Dal-Secular. All along it seemed as though the chief minister of seven days B S Yeddyurappa would be fielded as the CM candidate.
However, there is some division within the party at the moment. A large section of the BJP leaders in Karnataka including the high command in New Delhi feel that Yeddyurappa should be fielded as the CM candidate.
However, former Union minister, Ananth Kumar does not think so. He has rallied support from a faction within the party to field him as the candidate for the coveted post.
Political pundits point out that the BJP stands a better chance if Yeddyurappa is fielded as the CM candidate as all sympathy is with him at the moment.
Moreover he has major control of the Lingayat votes, which form a large section of the electorate in the state.
As for Ananth Kumar, he is more acceptable to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, thanks to close ties with L K Advani. He is seen as a better organisers compared to Yeddyurappa.
JD-S: Without doubt, the post of chief minister will remain with the Deve Gowda family. If the JD-S manages to get the numbers and form the government on its own, then Kumaraswamy will become the CM without doubt. He is more acceptable to younger lot who constitute a major portion of the party.
Even with the voter he is a more acceptable face thanks to his people friendly programmes.
However the chances of Kumaraswamy becoming the CM are low in case the JD-S decides to enter into a pact with the Congress.
In case this happens, then Gowda's other son is in with a chance. He is more acceptable to the Congress as he had openly opposed any tie up with the BJP. Moreover this would be a God sent opportunity to do something for his other son, who reportedly has been cribbing with his father about getting a raw deal all the time.
The expert view is that Kumaraswamy would be a better person to be fielded as the candidate as he is the only person capable in the party to churn out the votes.
The Congress: At present this party seems to be the most confused on its chief ministerial candidate. There is former chief minister N Dharam Singh, state Congress wing president Mallikarjun Kharge and also Maharashtra Governor S M Krishna in the race.
While Krishna seems to be the only star campaigner on hand, the problem is that he will be able to muster up votes only in the urban belt. Kharge has his own limitations as his clout is restricted only to the north Karnataka belt.
Dharam Singh too, who is a strong man from north Karnataka, will not be able to muster much support across the state and is seen more as a lucky person who became CM with the blessings of Deve Gowda.
Dharam Singh was chief minister with the support of the JD-S for just over a year.
Siddaramaiah, who had broken away from the JD-S and joined the Congress, can up votes but the problem is that he is too new in the Congress to bag the CM's post. There would be severe opposition if he is chosen over the old war horses in the party.
The Congress may also consider C K Jaffer Sharrief and Ambareesh for the post, but it remains to be seen whether the other Congressmen are ready to accept the two.
Congress insiders feel that Kharge should be given a chance as he is the person who has worked very hard for the party in the state level.
Experts say that fielding Ambareesh would be the best choice for the Congress at the moment. He is non-controversial, straight forward and more importantly, can woo the Vokkaliga community across the state.