Confusion reigns in the State unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party over the action initiated against some senior leaders, and should it take a turn for the worse, it is highly unlikely that the incumbent government of Jagadish Shettar will complete the full-term of the present Legislative Assembly scheduled to fold up in May 2013.
In a way, a vertical divide in the party is looming large, with the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa having reportedly “shut the doors” on negotiations, and on the contrary, repeatedly stating that preparations are on for the launch of a regional party in December. He is now again on a tour of districts. Interestingly, some Ministers in the Shettar government are accompanying him.
There are also reports that some of the BJP leaders who are against the Yeddyurappa camp are in touch with the Janata Dal (Secular) for support. They are stated to be preparing for the worst, in case the government is under threat and are obviously seeking the outside support of the JD(S), should there be a vote of confidence on the floor of the Legislative Assembly. There is no confirmation, though, of any talks with the JD(S) leadership, which is opposed to any understanding with the BJP, whether it be for a short or a long duration.
On Tuesday, the BJP party bosses in Bangalore, obviously in consultation with the national leadership, fired another round to stem what they have termed as “indiscipline in the party ranks” by expelling the former Union Minister V. Dhananjay Kumar from the primary membership of the party. It is quite evident that the party is gearing up to take stern action against all those in the company of the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, who is virtually bombarding the party leaders at the State and the national-level.
The head of the State unit of the BJP fired the first salvo about 10 days ago, when Ayyanur Manjunath was removed as party spokesperson and Mr. Dhananjay Kumar was summarily sacked as the Special Representative of the State in New Delhi. While Mr. Manjunath held a key position in the party setup, particularly to defend policy decisions, Mr. Kumar was in charge of the liaison system between Karnataka and New Delhi at the government-level and the party organisation. The BJP is also facing a tough time in finalising the appointment of a president for the State unit of the party given the serious intra-party differences here. In all likelihood, a status quo is expected to be maintained since any change is expected to rock the Jagadish Shettar government, which is barely three months old. What has necessitated the appointment of a new president is a provision in the BJP constitution that states that an individual cannot be vested with two responsibilities. Deputy Chief Minister K.S. Eshwarappa has been holding charge as president of the State BJP and is keen to relinquish charge as the head of the State unit of the party.