Many in the media and political circles wrongly attribute the development of Congress and JD (S) legislators resigning from the assembly to Operation Lotus. I would disagree with this point of view. If you can recall the developments that had happened in June and July, it was the rebellion of R. Ramalinga Reddy that turned out to be the trigger for the rebellion of other MLAs. Till then, the Congress legislators used to express their frustration in public and throw up their hands. It was only after Mr Reddy entered the scene, that the rebellion took shape. Now I can reveal one thing: All the MLAs who had resigned from Bengaluru, Mysuru and Mandya were not on BJP’s list. Therefore, it was not Operartion Lotus. For instance, Bhairati Basavaraj was the shadow of Siddaramaiah because he belongs to the same caste as Mr Siddaramaiah. He never wanted to come out. So was Yashwanthpur MLA, S.T. Somashekhar. He was made BDA chairman without powers. But, after they decided to resign, the BJP had helped them. Till then, the BJP was not in the picture.
Cut to the ongoing by-elections. The party managed to quell rebellion and unhappiness among those who missed a chance to get tickets. I think the rebel in Vijayanagara will not make a dent in to Anand Singh’s prospects. Mr Sharat Bachhe Gowda is the only one who is giving some fight but the party will manage that. I think people will focus on getting stability through a single party rule and therefore, they would vote for BJP candidates. I think the party is eyeing, not less than 10 and I am pretty sure, we will cross double digits. Psychologically, we consider it safe to have more than 115 seats or more in the assembly. I think, we will easily touch that mark.
There are many who say that Maharashtra developments would impact the Karnataka polls. In Maharashtra too, the BJP as a political party did not do wrong. The way the BJP strategised to install a government was not wrong. Only thing was: we should have directly dealt with Sharad Pawar instead of Ajit Pawar. In the constitutional terms, number matters most and every party does strategy suited best to them. But, the Maharashtra experiment may not have any impact on Karnataka by-poll.
Now, winning Karnataka has become all the more important for the party central unit and for the Karnataka unit as well. After UP and Gujarat, Karnataka is the only other big state where we are ruling now. The presence of BJP governments in various states will give a different image. Without depending on any other party, the BJP would like to have its own government here in Karnataka. And it does not make much difference for us to achieve this goal through this by-poll.
Now all of a sudden, the political circle is abuzz with information that the Congress and JD (S) would come together to form the government. But, what has changed in the last three months? Nothing. The bitterness between the two parties has not gone. Take it from me, the more they try at the top level to form a coalition, the more MLAs would come out. How many MLAs can be accommodated from both the sides? Probably ten or twelve. But the rest will rebel.
It is not the question of giving a good or bad government. But the BJP can give a stable government under the leadership of B.S. Yediyurappa. I am pretty confident that Mr Yediyurappa will make efforts to wipe out the bad impressions of the first ever five-year term of the BJP government in Karnataka between 2008 and 2013. I will not call it a ‘good’ or ‘clean’ government but we need a ‘performing’ government.
Performance should be seen on the ground: Be it building infrastructure or implementing a pro-farmer programmes. Only then it can be called a performing government. And I feel, Mr Yediyurappa being a dynamic leader, it is not a big challenge to give a performing government once he gets stability after the by-polls....