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Home > News > Report

All about the power struggle in K'taka

Vicky Nanjappa in New Delhi | September 28, 2007 23:11 IST

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Coverage: Political Crisis in Karnataka

If there is something that has overshadowed the Twenty20 World Cup win in Karnataka, it has to be the political scenario in the state. The past two days once could witness parties doing a flip flop and promises vanishing in thin air.

The scenario:

Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, son of Janata Dal (Secular) supremo and former Prime Minister Deve Gowda, had entered into an alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party in Karnataka and formed a government.

The government was formed 20 months back allegedly without the knowledge of the father, who did not take matters lightly. However as time passed, he came to terms with his son aligning with the BJP.

While forming the government both the JD-S and the BJP had agreed that they will have their chief minister for 20 months each. It was decided that the JD-S would have their chief minister first and at the end of 20 months, the BJP would install its chief minister.

October 3 2007 is the D-Day in Karnataka politics when the 20-month tenure of Kumaraswamy as chief minister comes to an end. However, with barely four days remaining, the JD-S has done a flip-flop and said that the power transfer will not take place, thanks to a statement by a BJP minister, Sriramulu, who had alleged that the CM had tried to kill him.

Deve Gowda says the BJP ought to sort out its internal differences before power is handed over. Kumaraswamy says that if the BJP behaves in this manner without power, then one could imagine what they would do if power is handed over.

This is not the first time that a leader from the BJP has tried to derail the government.

Barely two months after the coalition was formed, BJP legislator Janardhan Reddy charged the chief minister with corruption. After several hiccups, the government overcame the crisis and things have been smooth ever since.

The next few days will be very interesting as the fate of the government is expected to be decided. Will power be transferred or will the people have to go to polls is the million dollar question? Well, it all depends on some of the key players who can either make or break the government in Karnataka.

Key Players:

H D Deve Gowda: Considered to be the Bheeshma Pitamah of the JD-S, it is said that no
decision can ever be taken in the party without his consent. Even the coup by the son was staged managed by him, sources claim.

In the coming days, he is the one who will be calling the shots from behind the scene.

Moreover, he will also be the one who will be holding talks with the BJP leaders in Delhi. Gowda it is learnt is not in favour of a mid term poll in the state. The idea behind creating this ruckus is only to increase his bargaining power in the government.

Sources claim that Gowda will permit the transfer of power only if the JD-S is given key portfolios in the government under the BJP.

H D Kumaraswamy: The chief minister who, as per the promise, will have to step down on October 3. It would be interesting to see how he will strike a balance between family and friends.

On one hand he has to go with his father who is also the strength of the party and on the other he has to go with his word. It was based on the promise made by Kumaraswamy that the BJP had entered into an alliance with the JD-S.

Kumaraswamy's role would now be to strike a balance between the JD-S legislators, the BJP and his father. Will he stand by his father or will he go with his promise? Only time would tell.

B S Yediyurappa: He is the chief minister designate and the current deputy chief minister of Karnataka. He will have a lot of talking to do in the coming days. It was he and Kumaraswamy who had decided together to form the JDS-BJP government in Karnataka.

Not only will Yediyurappa have to convince Kumaraswamy and Gowda on the transfer of power but he will also have to convince his party leaders in case he bargains for anything less.

However, at the moment the man is confident that the transfer will be smooth.

Ananth Kumar: The big man in the BJP who is considered to be a smooth operator.

Insiders claim he is against Yediyurappa becoming the chief minister. However, it now depends on what instructions he has from the party high command in Delhi and the manner in which he will handle this crisis.

If there could be any further problem for the transfer of power it could come either from Janardhan Reddy and Sriramulu, the two legislators from Bellary.

Ananth Kumar will hold the key in handling such a situation as it is believed that both legislators will pay heed to his advise.

Yeshwanth Sinha: The BJP leader from Delhi in charge of Karnataka has an uphill task ahead. Not only will have to convince Gowda, but also keep his party united in Karnataka.

He will have to ensure that nobody from the BJP make unwarranted statements against the JD-S.

N Dharam Singh: In the present crisis, the role of this Congress leader and former state chief minister seems very limited. However, if the talks between the JD-S and the BJP fail, then Congress will play a key role.

Singh and his other Congress colleagues have been sending feelers since the past five months to form the government.

In case the JD-S enters into an alliance with the Congress, it will be Dharam Singh who will be doing all the talking -- thanks to his proximity with Gowda.