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Dec 11, 2012 at 12:37pm IST

None in Karnataka BJP can match Yeddyurappa: Arun Shimoga

Bangalore: As many as 21 of the 118 BJP MLAs in the 225-member Karnataka Assembly came out in support of former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa and attended a breakfast meeting at his residence on Sunday. Does that threaten the existence of the Jagadish Shettar-led BJP government in the state? Senior Journalist Arun Shimoga shared his perspective in an interaction with IBNLive readers.

Q. Sir, if the government gets dissolved, and elections are due in Karnataka will KJP form a coalition with congress? Asked by: siddharth v

A. May be considering the fact that both BSY and Congress have been soft to each other in the recent days.

None in Karnataka BJP can match Yeddyurappa: Arun Shimoga

As many as 21 of the 118 BJP MLAs in the 225-member Karnataka Assembly came out in support of former CM Yeddyurappa.

Q. BJP can rework and project new CM candidate for the upcoming election? If yes, who can take BSY role? Asked by: hari

A. None is able to replace BSY.

Q. Is their is any other strong leader like BSY in BJP ? Asked by: hari

A. None in BJP can match Yeddyurappa. He is one among a very few mass leaders the state has ever witnessed considering all the political parties in Karnataka. The only other mass leader in Karnataka is, of course not from BJP, the JD(S) supremo Deve Gowda. The other two leaders in the recent history of state were Ramakrishna Hegde and S Bangarappa.

Q. BSY can manage to convince voters because people are aware that he is from RSS & worked for BJP? He differentiates himself from RSS & BJP ethics? Asked by: hari

A. His links with RSS may not play any role in the elections. And, about BJP ethics, I do not understand what it means. Its ethics has double standards - When leaders of certain class involve in corruption charges all the leaders join together to demand for resignation and when certain others involved they come together again to defend those leaders. BJP ethics has two definitions for corruption. Is that the ethics of BJP?

Q. Now Karnataka people have a sympathy on BJP (removed BSY, facing rebels & threatening the party, at the edge to loose power) or BSY (Tall leader removed from CM Post)? Asked by: hari

A. Both BJP and BSY are trying to gain sympathy of the voters by projecting themselves as the victim of the other's misdeeds. But I do not think the sympathy would decide the elections this time. I think, it is too premature to guess on which factor would decide the election 2013.

Q. BSY moved on his community vote bank or over all votes? What will happen all the cases on BSY (Lost support from BJP and Cong)? Asked by: hari

A. First question, I have already replied. Second question, I cannot comment on the pending cases.

Q. Do you think KJP is capable of getting non Lingayat votes? Asked by: Dayananda

A. Yeddyurappa has been making all efforts to keep his party heterogeneous. That is why, he has been wooing minorities in his recent speeches and has been ensuring that the leaders from all communities would stay with him.

Q. Since KJP is going to divide votes. Who is going to gain from it Cong or JDS? Asked by: DayanandM

A. Those two parties may gain where they had lost by a small margin in the last election unless the equations have not changed. Otherwise the major party lose will be BJP.

Q. We are seeing the MLAs selling themselves but what happens to the grass root worker? Will he remain with the party or go with the MLA? Asked by: Suhas

A. He has learnt his own lesson and he will sell himself to his leader when the election come. Just an example: A maid servant working in the house of my former colleague took leave for ten days during the election of Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagar Palike (BBMP). She went to work for a candidate as a campaign in charge for a booth area. When she returned she had earned enough to pay the donation and tuition fee of her two children for that academic year apart from buying a new two wheeler to come to the work.

Q. If BSY continues in BJP, then 2013 JD(S) & Cong will target BJP on BSY corruption case, now who is going to cornered in 2013 election? Asked by: hari

A. As I said earlier, corruption has never been an issue in any election. If corruption has been an issue in any election almost all of the politicians should have been out of public life by this time. In 2013 election each political party, including B Sriramulu's party will have its own share and the smaller groups and the regional parties will decide who would rule the state.

Q. BJP being cadre based party, faithful RSS workers, how much Yeddy can affect BJP's chances in Karnataka Asked by: Baskar Natarajan

A. BJP has lost that character of cadre based party long back. It is no longer a cadre based party after it started taking leaders from other parties. RSS workers may be faithful to their organisation. But now elections are fought on different basis. Faith alone does not work. People expect many other things to work in an election. So, Yeddyurappa has his own chances like any other political group in the state.

Q. 1. What about secret pact of anti-BSY party called JDS? 2. Projecting Jagdish Shettar as CM candidate for keeping lingayat vote intact. What is your view? Asked by: sudhindra

A. I do not understand your first question. Projecting Jagadish Shettar as CM candidate to Lingayat votes intact may not work in favour of BJP. Look at the history of Karnataka politics. Karnataka, since independence, has been ruled either by the Lingayats or the Vokkaligas barring a few incidents. When Devaraj Urs became the CM, he tried to redefine the state politics by trying to gain the confidence of backward communities. He supported their cause, formed Backward Communities Commission headed by Havanur and gave reservation for the backward communities. He kept out both Lingayats and Vokkaligas out of this list. But he saw Lingayats has a threat to his political career and therefore after much pressure from Vokkaligas, he extended the reservation for Vokkaligas and not for Lingayats. Ramakrishna Hegde gave them reservation. That was why Lingayats accepted Hegde has their leader and supported him. After Hegde none was considered as their leader by that community though Veerendra Patil and J H Patel became CMs later. They want to have some vibrant, strong leader who can fight for them. They have found these qualities in Yeddiyurappa and not in Jagadish Shettar. So I do not think projecting Jagadish Shettar would help BJP in any way.

Q. Do you think Yeddyurappa has that charm now after the corruption allegations? Asked by: Sarin

A. Corruption has never been an issue in any election atleast in Karnataka. I do not think that will be an issue in the election to come. For the people corruption has become a way of life. People have their own parameters to decide their representatives.

Q. People voted BJP in 2008 because of BSY or BJP team in Karnataka ? Asked by: hari

A. Both. BJP could not make it to power since Yeddyurappa could not become the CM as agreed by the then JD(S) and BJP. The feeling that the JD(S) failed to keep up its promise had created a sympathy for Yeddyurappa and for the BJP.

Q. Assuming that the congress goes through and claims this election - will this impact the dynamics at the centre - especially given the turmoil in neighboring Andhra (TG issue)? Asked by: Srikanth

A. If Congress wins the election here the impact at the Center may not be so noticeable. Compare the number of representations Karnataka has in the Parliament compared to other states - even the neighbouring AP. Of course it may add some value to the total impact. But it will not change the whole dynamics at the Center.

Q. Dear Mr Arun, should the BJP have sacked Yeddyurappa earlier about 6 months before the day he went out...because of the long impending tenure of the government many MLA's and ministers wouldn't have wanted to go...your take?? Asked by: jaisimha

A. If BJP had taken action against Yeddyurappa six months ago the impact on BJP would have been more severe. Now, atleast BJP had got a chance to say that it had not ignored the interest of Lingayats, by making Jagadish Shettar the CM. BJP has saved its face now.

Q. I don't think Yeddyurappa wants his son to be removed from BJP because he has a 2 year and more tenure as mp and doesn't want to lose out on it...your take? Asked by: jaisimha

A. You are right. Raghavendra may force the BJP leadership to dismiss him from the party so that his position will not be disturbed. Moreover BJP has the tradition of tolerating such dissidents. When Bangarappa left BJP to join SP Beluru Gopalakrishna and Haratalu Halappa openly worked in favour of Bangarappa. BJP did not take any action against them.

Q. If the Government decides to dissolve the assembly, which party can make the best use of it? AFAIK none of the parties are fully ready for elections especially KJP. Asked by: Suhas

A. If what I hear from the politicians is right, no MLA of any political party is ready for election. Everyone wants to complete the term not because he would get any advantage out of it, but because he can postpone the process of undergoing the acid test again. Also BJP may not recommend for dissolution of the Assembly. It my buy time by issuing notice to the KJP supporters, seeking their explanation and so on.

Q. BJP will be in trouble by BSY actions. At the same time is it not a gamble BSY playing as advantage in Karnataka is already with Congress/JDS dividing votes further will benefit opposition only? He may succeed in damaging BJP? What about him? He is not gaining either? Asked by: sudhindra

A. Elections are always a gamble for any politician, however popular he may be. Yeddyurappa is not different. He has to gamble. But at whose cost is yet to be decided. Since many Congress and JD(S) leaders have also been joining him which party's votes he will be going to take is also yet be seen.

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