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Karnataka: M P Prakash keeps everyone guessing
Vicky Nanjappa | January 04, 2008 12:45 IST
The biggest mystery in Karnataka politics now seems to be the one regarding senior leader M P Prakash who fell out with the Janata Dal (S) recently.
While both the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Congress continue to woo him, Prakash is all likely to join the BJP.
Several rounds of talks have been held between Prakash and senior BJP leaders and an official announcement to this effect is expected soon, sources said.
Prakash, however, maintains a dignified silence and does not wish to reveal plans until everything is finalized.
Prakash makes only two things clear: one is that he would not go back to the JD(S) and the other about him not floating a new party.
Prakash now has at least 15 leaders with him, all of whom had broken away from the JD(S). If Prakash joins the BJP, then most of the other leaders with him are expected to dump him.
The other leaders in all probability will return to the JD(S) where they can be assured of a ticket to contest the polls. The problem is that the BJP can accommodate only Prakash at the moment.
Prakash, along with B S Yeddyurappa, can strenghthen further the Lingayat vote base. Another area of concern for the BJP was the old Mysore belt, but that too has been taken care of with G T Deve Gowda, a former JD(S) man joining hands with the BJP.
Sources say that the BJP is a better bet for Prakash when compared to the Congress.
The BJP may accommodate at least two of his supporters, but the Congress had made it clear that Prakash cannot come into the party with excess baggage. Moreover, the Congress is filled with ex-JD(S) men, many of whom do not get along with each other.
A senior leader joked, "The Congress seems to have more ex-JD(S) men than original Congressmen."
The entry of Prakash may, however, cause problems within the BJP. The tussle between BJP leader Ananth Kumar and B S Yeddyurappa is an open secret.
The problem Ananth Kumar is that he cannot do away completely with Yeddyurappa as he controls the Lingayat lobby.
Immediately after, Yeddyurappa was stabbed on the back by the JD(S), the entire Lingayat community rose in his support and viewed the matter sympathetically.
Ananth Kumar is aware that any wrong move where Yeddyurappa is concerned could prove fatal to the party as the Lingayat community controls a large chunk of votes in Karnataka.
Prakash may well be used as a counter weapon against Yeddyurappa in the party.
The advantage for the anti-Yeddyurappa men is that Prakash is also a Lingayat who could well control the lobby at least in the future.