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Why is Yeddyurappa going soft on the BJP govt?

February 05, 2013 16:17 IST

Former Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa finds himself in a spot of bother, yet again after the Bharatiya Janata Party announced Jagadish Shettar, also a Lingayat as the chief ministerial candidate in the next elections. Ironically, Yeddyurappa himself had installed Shettar’s as the CM when he was with the BJP. Vicky Nanjappa reports.

The statement made by Yeddyurappa on Tuesday is an indication that he would focus more on building his party rather than play vindictive politics. His statement in Mysore that he would go on a padayatra to Bangalore in support of the Cauvery issue is a diversion from his agenda of destablising the BJP government which he has been doing all these days.

The big question that has been on the minds of the people is whether Yeddyurappa would pull down the BJP government. The former chief minister managed to pull out 14 members of legislative assembly from the BJP, but the government continues to survive albeit, on a very thin majority. But if Yeddyurappa decides to get more aggressive and manages to pull 6 more MLAs, then it is curtains for the government.

The question is what has made Yeddyurappa go soft on the BJP government and what is the reason behind him not going for the kill? Many say it is the caste equation. Since the launch of the Karnataka Janatha Party, Yeddyurappa has been portraying a very secular image, but he also does realise that he needs to play the Lingayat card if he has to win some seats in the elections.

All these months, he had projected himself as the victim. During his meetings with the various Lingayat pontiffs and leaders, he had blamed the BJP of victimising a Lingayat leader from the state.

In fact when he was in the BJP, he had supported the candidature of Shettar and made him the chief minister. He had at that time claimed the support of the Lingayats by saying that he was responsible for installing a man from the same community.

Today, the leaders from the Lingayat community, especially the pontiffs do not want any rift in the community. Yeddyurappa realises that by pulling down Shettar, he will earn the wrath of the community.

In fact, many of the pontiffs even let it be known they do not want any rift in the community. He also realises that the Lingayats have been backing Shettar ever since the BJP has projected him as the next CM candidate who will lead the party in the next elections.

Pulling down Shettar would mean that he cannot play the victim card any longer because this is unlikely to go down well within his community. He, instead would prefer to bring the government to the brink and keep the threat open-ended. His intention was to show the BJP ‘its place’ as he has often claimed that the party had backstabbed him.

Moreover, he would play a new angle in which he would tell the Lingayats that despite him installing Shettar, he was backstabbed by a member of his own community.

Yeddyurappa has been assured by his community leaders of support in the next elections provided he does not show any signs of an open rift with leaders of his own community. Moreover, the Lingayats would support any candidate who is capable of forming the government or would at least have a say in the formation of the next government.

Moreover, Yeddyurappa also realises that it would be best to stop going after the government for now. He does realise that the independent candidates (6) would support the government if he pulls out more MLAs.

He is also well-aware that at a last ditch attempt the BJP may also seek the outside support of the Janata Dal-Secular in case there is trouble. In case the JD-S decides to support the government along with the independents, then Yeddyurappa would need at least 15 more BJP MLAs, which looks like a difficult task for now.

Most of the MLAs in the BJP who were formerly with Yeddyurappa, have said that they would prefer joining his party only after the government has completed its term.

Vicky Nanjappa in Bangalore