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Why Shobha was in Mansarovar when Yeddy rocked BJP's boat

Last updated on: July 2, 2012 13:07 IST

Why Shobha was in Mansarovar when Yeddy rocked BJP's boat

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Vicky Nanjappa in Bengaluru

Battles within the Bharatiya Janata Party in Karnataka are a routine affair. However, this time around there was a twist to the tale.

While everyone was chasing the revolting B S Yeddyurappa faction there was one person missing -- Shobha Karandlage, the power minister who is considered to be extremely close to the former chief minister.

Among the nine ministers she was the only one who did not hand over the resignation personally to Chief Minister Sadananda Gowda. In fact, the resignation was faxed.

More interestingly, she was not even present in Karnataka when this entire crisis was going on. Immediately after faxing her resignation, she left for Chhattisgarh on the pretext of some work relating to a power project that Karnataka is undertaking.

Thereafter she left on a private visit to Mansarovar, sources said, adding that all through the chaos she stayed away from Bengaluru

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Image: Shobha Karandlage
Photographs: Shobha Karandlage's website

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Why Shobha was in Mansarovar when Yeddy rocked BJP's boat

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Karandlage's actions have raised many a eyebrow in the state and there is talk that she has fallen out with her mentor Yeddyurappa, who she look upon as her father.

This brings us to the primary question whether Jagadish Shettar was the first choice for chief minister's post for Yeddyurappa. The answer is NO.

Prior to this drama, there was another resignation drama a couple of months back.

Around 46 MLAs had handed over their resignations to Yeddyurappa stating that the chief minister be changed or else they would pull down the government. At that time, Yeddyurappa's choice was never Shettar -- it was Karandlage. 

However, this choice did not find favour with BJP's central leadership and even the MLAs who were present in the Yeddyurappa camp.

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Photographs: Shobha Karandlage's website

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Why Shobha was in Mansarovar when Yeddy rocked BJP's boat

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When Yeddyurappa sought that Gowda be replaced, the leaders from Delhi had said that if this is done then there is a good chance of the Vokkaliga vote being divided in the state. However, Yeddyurappa hit back by stating that Karandlage too is from the Vokkaliga community and that if she is made the chief minister then the votes would remain intact.

This proposal was not acceptable to the leadership in Delhi.

Moreover the religious heads in the Lingayat mutts too were not too much in favour of this. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh in Karnataka, which has had a soft corner for Karandlage, too was not ready for this change and felt that she is a first-time MLA and needed more grooming before she can handle chief ministership.

Yeddyurappa, however, continued to push her name. He, however, had to finally give in as his own loyalists were not ready to accept Karandlage as their chief minister.

During the chaotic last week, sources say, Karandlage was terribly upset that Yeddyurappa had stopped rooting for her.

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Photographs: Shobha Karandlage's website

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Why Shobha was in Mansarovar when Yeddy rocked BJP's boat

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Karandlage is alleged to have entered into a war of words with Yeddyurappa and stated that in case he is unable to change Gowda then there should be no change in leadership.

Yeddyurappa tried his level best to pacify her, but she was in no mood to listen and decided to stay away from the entire drama.

Despite Karandlage's tantrums, she did send in her resignation in support of the Yeddyurappa faction. This sounds a bit strange considering the problem she had with the name of Shettar being proposed.

BJP sources give two explanations for this.

Firstly she did not want a further split in the BJP and she also realises that her entire support strength comes from the fact that Yeddyurappa backs her.

Secondly, she was also aware that the resignations would not be accepted especially since she had not submitted it personally to the chief minister.

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Photographs: Shobha Karandlage's website

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