Ramanagara fiasco: The lesson for BJP is use your own people
Bengaluru, Nov 2: It was nothing short of a pathetic embarrassment for the BJP, when its candidate for the Ramanagara by-poll jumped ship and returned to the Congress. This embarrassment came at the worst possible time, with just two days remaining for the constituency to go to polls.
The first lesson for the BJP is to rely on its own candidates, rather than depending on those who switch sides. L Chandrashekar originally from the Congress joined the BJP, following which he was declared as the candidate for Ramanagara. His return to the Congress has put a big question mark on the BJP's Vokkaliga leaders, whose decision making prowesses have now come under question.
There appeared to be absolutely no coordination between the top Vokkaliga leaders of the party, D V Sadananda Gowda, R Ashok and C P Yogeshwar. It could be argued that this is a very strong bastion of the JD(S) and Congress, who are fighting the elections together.
However there was no harm in fielding a strong candidate and putting up a strong fight.
As expected the BJP resorted to a blame game after this fiasco. Gowda blamed Yogeshwar for bringing Chandrashekar into the party. He went on to add that he expected Chandrashekar to build a base for the party, but he ended up betraying the BJP.
The party's top brass is currently busy with the elections in the five states. It would take stock of the Karnataka situation soon and once it acts on it, several big heads are likely to roll.
Several party insiders say that the increased dependance of B S Yeddyurappa on R Ashok is not going down too well for the party. Ashok has also been given the responsibility of handling the campaign in Mandya, which is again a Vokkaliga stronghold.
The BJP clearly found itself in an embarrassing situation following the exit of Chandrashekhar. Reacting to the development, Yeddyurappa said that he was always suspicious about him and that is why he chose not to campaign for him. He said that he was having doubts about him since the past one week. His father was a Congressman and hence he had connections with Congress leaders, Yeddyurappa also said.
Senior BJP leader, K S Eshwarappa too was quick to react and said that this was a lesson for the BJP. We should select candidates from our own party. There is no logic in Chandrashekhar blaming the BJP, he was purchased by the Congress and JD(S), Eshwarappa also went on to add.
The u-turn by Chandrashekhar may not make a big impact in the elections, where the results are concerned. The bastion belongs to the JD(S)-Congress, which has fielded, Karnataka CM, H D Kumaraswamy's wife, Anitha Kumaraswamy. It is however being seen as a psychological blow to the BJP, which appears to have played its cards wrong.