Karnataka Assembly elections: The curious case of ‘missing’ SM Krishna
Bengaluru, April 2: More than a year ago, former chief minister of Karnataka SM Krishna decided to leave the Congress and join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). A year later, as the southern state is all set to go to polls, Krishna--considered to be one of the tallest political figures in Karnataka--is almost missing from action.
Recently, the Election Commission (EC) announced the polling and counting dates for Karnataka. While polling will take place on May 12, the counting of votes will be held on May 15 in the southern state. As a bevy of astute political figures from Delhi are visiting Karnataka on a regular basis, the complete silence on the part of Krishna, who was also India's former external affairs minister, baffled political observers in the state.
After joining the BJP, many thought that the saffron party would make best use of his experience and expertise to win the upcoming polls, however, things seem to stand still for the 85-year-old politician. When he left the Congress, the common belief was that the grand old party had sidelined him, but the BJP too seems to be meting the same treatment to Krishna, who is credited for bringing the "IT revolution" in Bengaluru when he was the CM from 1999-2004.
Reports of Krishna being nominated as one of the members of the BJP's social media cell a few months ago probably indicated that the party is in no mood to give the former CM any prominent job during the elections. Both the BJP and Krishna denied reports of him being made a part of the social media cell, as it is too "insignificant" a job for a seasoned politician like him.
However, nothing much have changed as others are busy campaigning in Karnataka, Krishna seems to be leading a quiet life with his books and tennis in his upscale Sadashivanagara residence in Bengaluru. Krishna denied that he was upset with the BJP. Almost a month ago, the veteran leader told a reporter that he was not "unhappy" with the BJP. But he did not give any answer to the question regarding his absence from BJP events.
Apart from being seen with BJP leaders during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's election meeting in last January and taking part in "Parivarthana Yathre" in Mandya in January, Krishna did not take part in any political event of the BJP in Karnataka.
While the Congress is still miffed with Krishna for leaving the party that has "given him so much", the BJP denied reports of him being ignored by the saffron party. Reports say Krishna wants the BJP to give Assembly ticket to his younger daughter Shambhavi from Maddur in Mandya district or Rajarajeshwarinagara in Bengaluru.
Now, it needs to be seen whether the BJP will honour the wish of the Karnataka stalwart by giving his daughter a ticket to contest polls under the banner of the saffron party. Or did Krishna commit a mistake by leaving the Congress to join the BJP ahead of the elections?
|Karnataka Assembly Election dates|
|Date of notification||April 17|
|Last date to file nominations||April 24|
|Last date to withdraw nominations||April 27|
|Date of polling||May 12|
|Date of counting||May 15|