A senior Union minister is unhappy with Yeddyurappa being declared as the CM candidate.
The BJP’s chances of making a comeback in Karnataka is likely to be sabotaged due to internal party feuds, an assessment done by RSS functionaries has revealed. The assessment has been shared with the BJP top brass.
Sources said that a senior Union minister, who belongs to a southern state, was not happy with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to announce B.S. Yeddyurappa as the party’s Chief Ministerial candidate, which was done in May last year. According to this Union minister, this would damage the party’s prospects in the elections which are scheduled for the next month.
Yeddyurappa, who has been the Karnataka CM in the past, belongs to the electorally powerful Lingayat caste and is considered to be more acceptable among the local cadre rather than the Union minister whose dream of becoming the CM of the state has been thwarted time and again. As per the RSS assessment, giving tickets to right candidates, rather than distributing tickets in lieu of money, was of paramount importance in the election in which there is no major anti-incumbency against the Congress government as such, nor a Modi wave.
“If tickets are distributed on merit only, the party will get somewhere around 85-120 seats. However, if it is given for any other consideration, we might even fail to reach the 60-seat mark. Practically, there is no anti-Congress wave or no pro-Modi wave in the state. The win or loss will depend on local issues and local faces. Strong polarisation on community lines have taken place in many seats and OBCs and Muslims are rallying behind the Congress,” an RSS functionary, who is active in the southern state, said, adding that even the Yogi factor (UP CM Yogi Adityanath), was not going to make much impact on the voters.
According to the assessment, the perception that the Congress-led Siddaramaiah government was promoting corruption in the state, was present in the minds of the voters. And perhaps it was due to this feedback that BJP president Amit Shah, while campaigning in Mysuru last week, stated that the party had nothing to do with former BJP minister and mining baron from Bellary, G. Janardhan Reddy who has been sidelined from the party after spending 40 months in prison for illegal mining. Reddy was released on bail in January 2015. Reddy, according to party sources, wants a BJP ticket but has apparently been said no.
The BJP, if it fails to get the required numbers in the 225-member Karnataka Assembly by itself, is also open to exploring the possibility of tying up with the former PM H.D. Deve Gowda-led Janata Dal (Secular). The JDS had won on 40 seats in the 2013 elections and got more than 20% of the votes.