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Jul 02, 2012 at 10:43am IST

Karnataka: BJP strife microcosm of communal rift

Mysore: The tussle for the chief ministership between the warring BJP factions spilled on to the streets, literally, with people burning effigies of former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa and MLA B Harish near Maddur on the Bangalore-Mysore highway.

Activists of the Vokkaliga Sangha, Vishwa Vokkaligara Sangha and Kannada organisations and other outfits staged protests expressing outrage to attempts to unseat CM D V Sadananda Gowda. They disrupted traffic on the busy Mysore-Bangalore state highway. They claimed that Gowda has given clean governance in the last eight months.

Intra-party Fight or Communal Rift?: That the BJP strife has led to the polarisation of two of the largest communities of the state — Vokkaligas and Lingayats — needs no mention. Attempts by the Yeddyurappa faction to pull the rug from underneath Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda on charges that he is a puppet in the hands of the Deve Gowda clan of the JD(S) — who are Vokkaligas — have seemingly strengthened the CM’s position, a lightweight politico till recently.

Karnataka: BJP strife microcosm of communal rift

The strife has led to the polarisation of two of the largest communities of the state - Vokkaligas and Lingayats.

The CM’s recent assertion that he rose to the post only because of the support of the Vokkaligas rubbed his predecessor the wrong way. The statement needs to be examined in view of the recent power struggle within the BJP, which led to nine of its ministers tendering their resignations, and further expected. Legislators backing the CM — also a Vokkaliga — claim that he has not committed any mistakes, drawing the battle on caste lines.

It is learnt that there are plans to organise similar protests in old Mysore region, a region dominated by Vokkaligas. Media coverage to the developments led to debates and ego clashes.

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