Yeddyurappa - A master survivor

Yeddyurappa - A master survivor

Bangalore: Emerging unscathed from yet another crisis, Karnataka chief minister B S Yeddyurappa has shown his skills as a political survivor, overcoming adversities emanating from within his own party and the combined Congress-JDS onslaught to oust him over alleged land scams.

Ever since he assumed charge as chief minister of the first BJP government in the south, Yeddyurappa had to juggle with one crisis or the other, the latest one almost sealing his fate.

But Yeddyurappa had the last laugh as he battled a spate of allegations of multi-crore land scams, nepotism and open violation of rules to favour his kith and kin.

Amid reports that he has been asked to resign by the BJP leadership, Yeddyurappa managed to rally round his party MPs and loyalists after remaining defiant and keeping the top brass guessing on his moves.

According to party sources, Yeddyurappa warned the central leadership that his exit would mean the end of the party government as well, a threat which made the senior leaders to do a rethink on their decision to ask him to quit.

The chief minister, the sources said, also brought out an ace up his sleeve, the Lingayat caste card.

He belongs to the Lingayat community which constitute nearly a fifth of the population in Karnataka and also a strong support base for the BJP.

Yeddyurappa, whose end as chief minister seemed almost certain, with a smug opposition and his detractors within the party triumphant over delivering what they believed were deadly blows, managed to carry the day today with the party asking him to stay on.

He also managed to rally influential seers around him, and got them to support him.

Yeddyurappa, who began his rule on sticky wicket two-and- a-half-years ago, falling short of a majority in the Assembly, cobbled up a slender majority by luring opposition MLAs and independents who were made to resign and contest bypolls.

His gambit called ‘Operation Lotus´ paid off in enabling the BJP to secure the majority in the 224-member House.

But the troubles did not seem to die down with the powerful Reddy brothers, ministers and mining magnates - Janardhana and Karunakara - launching a campaign for his removal.

The High Command’s intervention ensured his survival before another wave of dissidence engulfed his government.

As many as 11 BJP rebel MLAS and five independents withdrew support to his government, pushing it to a precipice.

This too he survived, winning the trust vote twice - the first one, carried by voice vote, called unconstitutional by governor H R Bhardwaj forcing him to face another floor test which he won by 106-100 votes.

Yeddyurappa went down in the Indian Legislative history to be the only chief minister to survive two trust motions in a week’s time.

Just as he seemed to have surmounted the crisis with the High Court verdict upholding the disqualification of 11 rebel MLAs coming as a shot in the arm, trouble erupted again as the JDS levelled a series of allegations about land scams involving his family.

However, party sources said, with a section of MLAs still unhappy with him, trouble is far from over for this BJP strongman of Karnataka.