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How Karnataka politics plays out in resorts

Last updated on: March 19, 2012 16:15 IST

How Karnataka politics plays out in resorts

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Vicky Nanjappa

It appears today that Karnataka legislators have spent more time in resorts than at the Karnataka legislative assembly or even their respective constituencies.

The resort politics came to forefront in the state when the Bharatiya Janata Party launched itself for the first time in South India.

Just before B S Yeddyurappa could take over the administration of the state, the BJP central leadership organised a session at a resort where the legislators were given a talk about how the party should function in Karnataka.

It appeared then that the BJP would not only complete its term smoothly but would also come back to win the next election as well. However, that was not to be.

Ever since it took over, not a single day has passed without the party facing a problem -- more due to infighting.

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Apart from running to a resort each time there was a political crisis, one also got to see the number of times the MLAs changed loyalties.

First it was Renukacharya, who was part of a revolt against Yeddyurappa. However, he returned to the Yeddyurappa camp after claiming that he was forced into conducting that rebellion.

Then we saw the Jagadish Shettar-Yeddyurappa love-hate story. Just a year back they were at logger heads when Yeddyurappa wanted Sadananda Gowda as the chief minister. In fact, Shettar lost the internal poll to Gowda who was at that time Yeddyurappa's man.

Today, Shettar and Yeddyurappa are together and have sworn to oust Gowda from the chair.

Yeddyurappa has tucked himself away at a resort along with 55 of his MLAs. If he decides to worsen the scenario, then it is curtains for the BJP which has 117 MLAs in the House.

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Yeddyurappa has tucked himself away at a resort along with 55 of his MLAs. If he decides to worsen the scenario, then it is curtains for the BJP which has 117 MLAs in the House.

The only option that the BJP would have is to form a government with the Congress, which has 78 MLAs.

In the 46 months that the BJP has ruled, its MLAs have more often than not raised some issue or the other and each time the focus just shifted to some resort or the other.

Today, it is probably for the first time in 46 months that Yeddyurappa has resorted to the resort politics. At other times, he was the one at the receiving end.

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The one who started it all for the BJP was former tourism minister and mining baron Janardhan Reddy.

Upset over some officials in Bellary being transferred, with sheer power of the wealth, he managed to take nearly 40 MLAs along with him to a resort and threatened to pull down the Yeddyurappa government.

Apart from seeking the reinstatement of a couple of his officials he had also rooted to make Jagadish Shettar the chief minister. He, however, did not keep all his MLAs in one resort. He parked some in Bengaluru while others were lodged at Andhra Pradesh and Goa. The crisis lasted nearly 15 days and was resolved after some back door assurances regarding the officials and also the ouster of Yeddyurappa's favourite MLA, Shobha Karandlage.

However, the MLAs who were with the Reddy brothers did not have quite a happy ending and there were murmurs that the mining baron did not give them what was assured once his demands were met.

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While things appeared to a bit calm it was the turn of Renukacharya, who today is in the Yeddyurappa camp, to lead another round of protest. He vanished with a couple of legislators to a resort in Goa. He sought Yeddyurappa's removal.

At that point in time it was Janardhan Reddy who was sent by none other than Yeddyurappa to have a word with the MLAs. However, these MLAs who were part of the Reddy camp just a few months back, refused to even meet him. Finally, Yeddyurappa himself had a word with Renukacharya and the crisis came to an end.

The BJP had formed the government with the support of some independent MLAs and a couple of leaders from the Congress and the Janata Dal-Secular who had party-hopped. Now it was their turn to create trouble and 18 of them went off to a resort near Bengaluru.

The BJP was in trouble once again and they had to face a trust vote. However, a day before the trust vote the Speaker dismissed all these legislators which ensured that they did not have a vote. The BJP managed to sail through but the governor felt that the result was not a fair one and directed the CM to take another vote. The court had, however, at that time refused to interfere with the order of the speaker as a result of which Yeddyurappa survived yet again.

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Then came the mining report, which allegedly implicated Yeddyurappa. Much drama followed and finally Yeddyurappa had to step down. A leadership crisis followed. Yeddyurappa proposed the name of Gowda while the rival camp wanted Shettar in.

Both camps then agreed that the legislators would elect the CM candidate. In a bid of prevent any kind of trading both camps parked their loyalists at separate resorts until the day of the vote, which Gowda won.

Ever since Gowda took over, Yeddyurappa has been creating all sorts of troubles.

He has sought his reinstatement and in the bargain even fallen out with Gowda. While there are many theories to the fall out, Yeddyurappa maintains that he had been cozying up to JD-S leaders Deve Gowda and H D Kumaraswamy.

However, the other version is that the central leadership was grooming Gowda as the next leader and this was not going down too well with Yeddyurappa who says that he had single handedly brought the BJP to power in Karnataka.




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