Chief Ministership: BJP's dream still mirage

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Bangalore, Sep 30: The long awaited dream of Bharatiya Janata Party installing its Chief Minister in South India still appear to be a mirage as uncertainty prevails in the political scenario of Karnataka with the D-day for transfer of power with Janata Dal (secular) just three days away.

If all goes well, BJP leader B S Yediyurappa should take over the mantle of Chief Ministership from H D Kumaraswamy as agreed upon 20 months ago. But, will it happen, is the question that looms large with the BJP waiting with bated breath to take over the reins for the next 20 months.

Though both Kumaraswamy and Yediyurappa were committed to share power 20 months each several political developments in recent past had come in the way of bonhomie between the coalition partners. The differences reached climax when the suspended member of BJP and Kumaraswamy's bete noire Janardhan Reddy filed a complaint with the Bellary police alleging that the Chief Minister had issued 'supari' to bump him off during campaign for election to local bodies.

Reddy's political enimity with the chief minister is well known from the day he had made accusations against the Chief Minister in connection with receiving Rs 150 crores from the mine owners and demanded a CBI probe. From then on he had been making use of every available opportunity to criticise the Chief Minister with the BJP leaders maintaining silence on such occasions.

JD (S) Supremo H D Devegowda, who is not inclined to hand over power to BJP, chose to make use of the complaint filed by Reddy as a political weapon to settle scores with BJP. Irked by this development, Devegowda returned abruptly without discussing with BJP top brass on transfer of power.

Stung by the sudden development the BJP leadership has airdashed Party Senior Vice President Yaswant Sinha on a trouble shooting mission and iron out the differences with the JD(S) to pave way for a smooth transfer of power. After deep discussions with the State leaders, Mr Sinha is waiting for an appointment with Mr Devegowda for a dialogue.

Constant bickerings within the coalition partners up marked an eventful 20 months. While the BJP leaders maintained stony silence as the deadline approached, anxiously waiting for the smooth transfer of power, the JD(S) ministers went whole hog and constantly caused irritants to the coalition partner striking discordant notes. They even tried to cash in on the bickerings within the BJP, which worked overtime to assert that all was well within the party.

Though Mr Kumaraswamy continuously maintained his stand of handing over power on the scheduled October 3, several of his ministers made open statements favouring his continuance. To crown it all was the JD(S) leader Devegowda's last salvo against the BJP for not controlling its minister Sriramulu on various occasions.

Developments were being watched intensely by both the groups with the opposition Congress waiting to encash on the opportunity for its gain.

The scheduled meeting of JD (S) legislators, to be held later in the day followed by BJP legislators meet on October one should throw light to resolve the tangle. " There should not be any problem in transfer of power as I have wholeheartedly cooperated with Mr Kumaraswamy from the day one," Mr Yediyurappa asserted.

UNI

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