BJP vs rebels: The sorry saga continues

Bangalore, Jan 26 (IANS) Karnataka's ruling BJP deserves a trophy for sheer doggedness to be in office for a full term of five years, though each year of its reign since 2008 has been marred either by corruption scandals or inner party rebellion.

The party's first term in office in the state is due to end in May, but the party seems more preoccupied in fighting rebels than think about governance and welfare of the people of a state that is known as a technology and outsourcing hub and is crying for better civic infrastructure and services.

The current round of dissidence has taken BJP politics to new a low in the state with assembly speaker K.G. Bopaiah's whereabouts becoming a "mystery", resulting in Governor H.R. Bhardwaj seeking details of his tour.

Bopaiah was not present in his office Wednesday when 13 BJP rebels went to him to resign. The 13 are loyalists of former BJP chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, who quit the party and the assembly Nov 30 and is orchestrating the dissidence to bring down the Jagadish Shettar government.

The 13 included C.M. Udasi and Shobha Karandlage, who quit Wednesday as public works minister and energy minister respectively.

They met Bhardwaj Wednesday and asked about Bopaiah and requested him to accept their resignations immediately. The speaker's absence is a first for Karnataka.

A saving grace for the BJP is that for the first time it is going all out to defeat dissidents instead of bowing to them, as in the past.

While the first two rebellions were spearheaded by the mining barons, the Reddy brothers, against Yeddyurappa, the former chief minister has become the BJP's bane since he was forced to quit in July 2011 over mining bribery charges.

First, the party bent backwards to please the Reddys, and later danced to Yeddyurappa's tune to dump D.V. Sadananda Gowda as chief minister last July. Jagadish Shettar took over from Gowda.

With his ambition to be considered the BJP's supreme leader in the state rebuffed by the party, Yeddyurappa is now bent on depriving the party a second term in office. After quitting the BJP, he floated the Karnataka Janata Party.

For months after he reluctantly left the chief minister's post, Yeddyurappa claimed the support of around 120 legislators in the 225-member assembly. The BJP's strength now stands at 118, including the speaker, as Yeddyurappa and another party legislator have quit the house.

His support base has now come down to 20 legislators, with 13 of them wanting to quit the assembly and the party as part of a strategy to prevent Shettar from presenting a full budget for 2013-14 on the grounds that he has lost majority and that assembly elections are due in May.

The opposition Congress and the Janata Dal-Secular, which have 71 and 26 members respectively in the assembly, have also been urging Shettar to desist from going in for a full budget.

But both the BJP and Shettar seem determined to present the budget Feb 8.

While ruling parties use the budget in an election year to boost their prospects by announcing populist programmes, it remains doubtful what electoral benefits the BJP can hope to gain by presenting it when its overall image lies shattered.

The BJP's intention to present a full budget is however serving the party's immediate goal: to score over dissidents, at least once in its first stint in power in the state.

(V.S. Karnic can be contacted at vs.karnic@ians.in)

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Royal test for Kings

Royal test for Kings

Preview — Clash of philosophies between Australia-centric teams More »

Have nothing to prove to anybody — Sehwag

Have nothing to prove to anybody — Sehwag

The Nawab of Najafgarh says a good run in IPL could help his chances of a comeback on India's tour to England in June. More »

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Furious fifties by Duminy and Dinesh Karthik end a long losing streak for the Daredevils. More »

Five things England must do to bounce back

Five things England must do to bounce back

England have appointed a new head coach in Peter Moores. More »

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

Royal Challengers overcame a stutter to cruise to the small target they were set by Mumbai Indians. More »

‘Felt like helpless minority’

‘Felt like helpless minority’

Former BCCI treasurer Ajay Shirke says emotions got the better of the Srinivasan and he tried to oversimplify things by calling Meiyappan an “enthusia… More »

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

Kevin Pietersen's hopes of reviving his international career appeared to end Saturday when ECB managing director Paul Downton said there was 'no way back'… More »

The world record that nearly wasn't

The world record that nearly wasn't

Twenty years ago this week, Brian Lara became Test cricket's highest scorer, but he almost didn't make it. More »

Srinivasan can attend BCCI meeting

Srinivasan can attend BCCI meeting

His status as president of TNCA makes him eligible to attend the Working Committee meeting on Sunday. More »

Moores gets second stint as coach

Moores gets second stint as coach

In a two-year spell from 2007 to 2009, the 51-year-old Moores led England in seven Test series. More »

Bangladesh senior players to see shrink

Bangladesh senior players to see shrink

Bangladesh's senior players will have three sessions with a psychological skill development coach later this month More »

Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Glenn Maxwell seems to project an icy disdain when at the crease. Match situations rarely faze him and the bubble in which he plays excludes everyone … More »

BCCI is not anybody’s property — Dalmiya

BCCI is not anybody’s property — Dalmiya

Dalmiya feels that Srinivasan’s ‘power hungry’ attitude isn’t helping matters. More »

Tough for bowlers: Saeed Ajmal

Tough for bowlers: Saeed Ajmal

The 36-year-old believes the T20 format and rule changes in 50-over matches have made a real difference. More »

KP ridicules idea of day-night Tests

KP ridicules idea of day-night Tests

Kevin Pietersen has ridiculed the idea of day-night Test cricket, saying the game would be so different to proper Test cricket that we will need a whole… More »

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

The bowlers restricted Hyderabad to 133 for 6 before Rahane and Binny took Rajasthan over the line. More »

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

The Kings XI batsman blasted a 43-ball 95 to help his team pull off a massive chase against Chennai Super Kings. More »

BCCI members want independent probe

BCCI members want independent probe

The board members are realising after the Supreme Court's observations that something has to be done — IS Bindra More »

'BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srini'

'BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srini'

Two former BCCI presidents, Shashank Manohar and Jagmohan Dalmiya, have reacted strongly to the news of the BCCI calling an emergent meeting on Sunday… More »

Delhi look for first points against confident Kolkata

Delhi look for first points against confident Kolkata

Preview — The threat of Sunil Narine looms large again. More »

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Preview — Given the firepower in both line-ups, Dubai crowd may see another high-scorer More »

Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj Singh was hardly convincing to begin with against Delhi, but a big dose of crowd support and a helping of poor bowling meant he had the opportunity… More »

Stressed Trott stands down again

Stressed Trott stands down again

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday confirmed that batsman Jonathan Trott is to take another break from all cricket with immediate eff… More »

PCB starts another coach hunt

PCB starts another coach hunt

The PCB has decided to not extend the contracts of head coach Moin Khan, fielding coach Shoaib Mohammad and batting consultant Zaheer Abbas, and has invited… More »