A fresh political churning is in the offing in Karnataka and January 23 is being mentioned as the day on which it is set to start.
It is expected to be more of a political realignment with political heavyweights set to cross from one party to another with an eye on the Legislative Assembly elections, and the Bharatiya Janata party is expected to be a major loser with several of its leaders seeking to join the Congress, the Karnataka Janata Paksha and the Janata Dal (Secular).
Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar will go through a testing time should the moves being made by the fledgling Karnataka Janata Paksha come through. In the meanwhile, the BJP leadership has taken note of the situation and is taking steps to checkmate a threat to the party and its government. The Chief Minister told The Hindu that he does not foresee any major political development and that there is no threat to the government as such.
Interestingly, the Karnataka Janata Paksha of the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa has now changed its stance and has left it to the legislators and the Ministers in the Jagadish Shettar government to decide on aligning with the KJP. Initially, the KJP had specified deadlines with an eye on the collapse of the Bharatiya Janata Party government and had miscalculated the mood of the elected representatives, it has now left it to the legislators and the ministers.
Sources close to Mr. Yeddyurappa said that nearly 15 legislators and four ministers — Shobha Karandlaje, C.M. Udasi, M.P. Renukacharya and Murugesh Nirani — are expected to part ways with the BJP and join the party of the former Chief Minister. “It is for them to decide on the time and date on which they want to proceed in this matter and once they do it, we will take the next call on how to proceed further. Our information is that they will resign en masse, possibly in the coming week”. Mr. Yeddyurappa has been spending time travelling across the State to build the KJP.
On the earlier claim that 10 Ministers in the Jagadish Shettar Government are with it, the KJP now believes that only four of them will initially join the KJP and that the others will follow suit at a later date. Meanwhile, there are also reports of some of the BJP Ministers seeking to join the Congress. It is another matter that the Ministers are presently out at work with the incumbent Chief Minister thus indicating that they have not really given a serious consideration to the deadline given by their political mentor.
It is quite obvious that the KJP though keen on bringing down the government at the earliest cannot force a decision since such moves are pushing its legislator loyalists to either dictate terms or look the other way. Further, elections to the Legislative Assembly are expected to be held latest by May and withdrawing support to the government at the present juncture will only make a marginal difference.