THE QUADRIPARTITE BATTLE FOR POWER
|Rahul at a rally in Dharwad|
The father-son duo of Deve Gowda and H D Kumaraswamy are working tirelessly to replicate in Karnataka what the Yadavs (Mulayum-Akhilesh) and the Badals (Parkash-Sukhbir) did in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab respectively. In his 20 month long stint as the CM, some of the initiatives launched by the junior Gowda were well received by the people. No one can deny that the withdrawal of support to the BSY government in 2008 by the JD(S) which was projected as a betrayal by the BJP won it sympathy votes. Not so surprisingly, the party dropped 31 seats to finish with just 28 in the last elections. Even in
Many believe that in 2013 assembly elections, Yeddyurappa is likely to emerge as the King-maker, all the more because of the four way contest that the state will witness. After being side-lined in the party that he had built in the state, the Lingayyat strongman joined the Karnataka Janata Paksha (KJP) founded by Padmanabha Prasanna in November last year. Soon a string of loyalist, right from ministers in the government to corporators and ordinary workers broke their association with the BJP and followed their leader into his new party. Yeddy's outfit has had a pretty good start as it managed to do fairly well in the local polls, managing to eat into the saffron outfit's vote share. By praising Sonia Gandhi before jumping to KJP, it is believed that he is keeping all his options open and might fill in the numbers in case the party falls short of the magic number. Though, he may vehemently deny it, allying with the BJP may not be difficult either. Thus, he is poised to become the game-changer in this elections in case of a hung assembly which is the most likely scenario if not for a Congress victory. However, allying with KJP may not be so easy. The long list of illegal land deals that he and his family members are accused of will hurt both the KJP and its future ally. Also, as the BJP leadership will tell, he is a tough nut to crack and will be difficult to deal with. One should not forget that besides DVS and Shettar, the KJP boss even had founder Prasanna thrown out of the party.
Yeddy knows that by leaving the BJP, he has taken the biggest gamble of his political career and a lot depends on the May 8 results. The Linggayyat leader who was known to given liberal grants to Mutts and seers during his tenure as the CM still has lots of friends in religious circles, all of whom are now
|KJP supremo Yeddyurappa|
Finally, there are several other smaller parties and a few national parties that have virtually no presence in the state that are contesting the elections. B Sriramalu who has floated his own party - the BSR Congress is expected to do well in Bellary region. With the Reddy brothers throwing their weight and money power behind him, the Nayaka leader is touring the state, hoping to grab as many seats as possible in his kitty. The Loksatta Party founded by former bureaucrat Jaiprakash Narayan, which has promised 'clean' politics is making its debut. Dalit leader and BSP supremo Mayawati has also addressed rallies in Northern Karnataka where she was quizzed by EC officials for carrying large sum of money with her. Besides, other national parties like the Samajwadi Party, Nationalist Congress Party, Communist Party of India (Marxist) and Janata Dal (United) have fielded their candidates in different parts of the state. The upcoming polls will be the most important in the history of Karnataka. While it is rich in natural resources and is the premiere IT destination of the country, the state has a long way to go as it continues to be plagued with frequent droughts, poverty and inequality. Apart from this, corruption has threatened to derail infrastructure development, especially in 'hi-tech city' Bengaluru. The people of Karnataka have to make the right choice so that the prestige of their state is restored.
Battleground Karnataka - Part 1 (Link)
(1) Rahul at a rally in Dharwad
Original: Rediff - Rahul turns 40 (Link)
(2) The Gowdas
Original: The Gowda merry go round (Link)
(3) KJP supremo Yeddyurappa
Original: Yeddyurappa.in (Link)