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Karnataka deputy CM's post: War of the brothers
Vicky Nanjappa in Bangalore | November 09, 2007 20:42 IST
With the governor clearing the road for B S Yeddyurappa to become the chief minister of Karnataka, another controversy is brewing within the Janata Dal-Secular with regard to the post of deputy chief minister. A first look would indicate it is becoming a war of the brothers -- H D Kumaraswamy and H D Revanna.
With both the brothers being pitched for the coveted post, the big question that is being asked is whether it would be the will of the legislators or Deve Gowda, which will reign supreme in this final drama before the government is formed.
The JD-S, however, cannot take matters lightly and will have to decide on the post of deputy chief minister well before Monday as the new chief minister is expected to be sworn in on Monday either at 11 am or 4 pm.
Kumaraswamy vs Revanna: While Kumaraswamy has the support of all his MLAs, Revanna enjoys the support of his father H D Deve Gowda, who is also the party supremo.
JD-S sources say that in all probability, Kumaraswamy will be sworn in as the deputy chief minister.
Why Kumaraswamy? The JD-S MLAs feel that Kumaraswamy should play an active part in the government as he is their best leader.
Moreover, the MLAs also feel that they will get better deals in the government if Kumaraswamy is deputy chief minister as he is the one who initially planned this government.
The BJP too is in favour of Kumaraswamy as they have been dealing directly with him since the government was formed 21 months back.
Moreover, Kumaraswamy is the man who stood up against his father for the second time and supported the BJP.
The BJP also feels that the government will last its full term only if Kumaraswamy is at centrestage.
Why Revanna? H D Revanna, Gowda's other son enjoys the support of 3 MLAs in the JD-S. Although he withdrew support along with three MLAs from the BJP, he is expected to return if given the post of deputy chief minister.
Revanna also has the backing of his father who wants him to become the deputy chief minister. Gowda feels that Kumaraswamy has had his share of power and now it is time for Revanna to enjoy the same.
Revanna has since time immemorial handled only the Public Works Department ministry in all the governments that he was part of.
A deputy chief minister's post would give him some satisfaction in his political career.
However, there is staunch opposition from both the JD-S and the BJP to Revanna's candidature.
The JD-S MLAs say that he had decided to stay away when a government was formed with the BJP. It was only later that he joined the government. Hence, in Kumaraswamy circles he is still an outsider.
Moreover, at the time when JD-S had to transfer power to the BJP, Revanna created a ruckus and opposed the transfer of power.
The BJP does not want Revanna as they see another Deve Gowda in him. Political pundits say that Revanna is exactly like Gowda -- demanding and moody, two features which make administration a headache.
While the brothers battle it out for the coveted post, there are also reports that the real war is being fought by the women at home.
The Gowda clan has always given a lot of importance to its women and they have the final say behind the scenes.
Sources say that the wives of Kumaraswamy and Revanna do not want their respective husbands to give up the post.
This is the family angle to it. Gowda may just spring a surprise at the last moment and appoint Meerajuddin Patel.
With this appointment, Gowda would have managed to appease both the minority community and also the Lingayat community to which B S Yeddyurappa belongs.
But this is politics or should we say Karnataka politics. Things keep changing here every minute. A meeting of the JD-S MLAs is scheduled to be held on Sunday during which a final decision will be taken.