Millennium Post

A silent homecoming?

The leader discredited with the role of a spoiler for his original political party resulting in the comeback of the Congress party in 2011 assembly elections in the southern state of Karnataka has quietly staged home coming into the BJP by merging his political outfit Karnataka Janata Paksh in to the BJP. It was just a coincidence or a calculated move of the Lingayat leader to form his separate political entity called the KJP on Sonia Gandhi’s birthday. He has since decided to return to the BJP fold unconditionally.

The political analysts might have not forgotten the tone and mood of B S Yeddyurappa while lambasting the BJP and its mother organisation, the RSS. He had openly taken a vow to never align with the BJP in all times to come. The leader opened the southern gate of power for his party and also spearheaded the election campaign to bring the BJP on its own close to the mark an absolute majority in the state in 2008 assembly elections. He had to face internal dissensions and later so-called non cooperative attitude and ill-treatment of the Central leadership when he was in deep waters in the backdrop of the mining scams.

The Lingayat leader had always been loyal to the BJP and the RSS, right from 1970s.  He was imprisoned during the Emergency and was first elected to the Vidhan Sabha from Shikarpura segment in 1983. Yeddyurappa has also served as the state unit president of the BJP.

Yeddyurappa, 70, has deep roots in the state. He first tasted the fruits of power as the Deputy CM in 2006 under the Chief Minister, HD Kumarswami, heading the BJP-JD(S) coalition. Kumarswamy refused to step down on completion of his 20-month term in favour of Yeddy, resulting in the resignation of Yeddy and all the BJP ministers followed by a high voltage political drama leading to imposition and revocation of the President rule, taking over of Yeddy as the chief minister consequent upon the assurance of support by the JD(S) and its backing away during trust motion in the Assembly.

This episode generated a sympathy wave in favour of the BJP and its unchallenged leader Yeddy in 2008 assembly elections. His so called arbitrary attitude, affinity with the two brothers, ministers in the state cabinet, and largesse’s as favour to the sons and other family members brought downfall of the Lingayat leader. He resigned with an assurance to be gifted with an honourable post at an appropriate time, on 31 July 2011 after his curtailed tenure of three years and two months.

Yeddy remained a staunch critic to the central leadership despite being offered to nominate his successor twice. The BJP had to take a hard decision of sacrificing Yeddy to justify its hue and cry against Union ministers facing allegations of kickbacks and corruption.

It is surprising that Yeddy returned to the BJP just by expressing solidarity with Modi and to work for his elevation to the post of PM after 2014 parliamentary elections.

It is difficult to forget Yeddy ‘s keenness to get nominated as the state BJP chief. Yeddy had also tried to pressurise the BJP for his renomination as the CM after a liitle relief granted by the courts before parting away from the BJP to form his state level political outfit.

While agreeing to rejoin the BJP, Yeddy has categorically expressed his intention of not aspiring for any post, and not to demand any party ticket during elections for him and his son.

His commitment to work for the BJP is also looking sceptical, keeping in view his adamant behaviour.  Even his so-called detractors in the BJP have not been able to digest the latest developments.  It is early to describe homecoming of Yeddy as an impact of Modi magic.

While going through the long history of the BJP, one may come across a long list of the former CMs deserting the party, forming separate outfits and rejoining the party after a reasonable time.

Kalyan Singh from UP parted away twice and returned after cutting ice after forming his own outfit.  Madan Lal Khurana from Delhi and Uma Bharti from Madhya Pradesh had also to relent later.
The two former CMs of Gujarat – Keshubhai Patel and Suresh Mehta – are also not feeling comfortable politically.

The only exception is Babu Lal Marandi, who has been able to respectably survive after forming his party- Jharkhand Vikas Manch. During earlier incarnation of the BJP, a former CM in Madhya Pradesh, V K Saklecha left Jansangh to form his separate party. His venture proved out be futile. Even Eddy’s claim of reaping a good harvest for KJP in elections has turned out be a damp- squib.

The author is a communication consultant
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