Team Mangalorean - New Delhi
from Ravi Kanvatirtha
New Delhi: A horde of ministers from Karnataka, leaving behind the problems of drought and farmers in their state, were here earlier this week, divided into two lobbies. One was rooting for Sadananda Gowda, the current incumbent in the chief minister's seat and another trying to target his scalp.
Although the Yeddyurappa-Shettar combine has got around everyone amongst the high command to agree to have the chief minister changed, senior leader L K Advani is said to be still adamant over not changing the chief minister. A meeting of the parliamentary party was to be held. Since Advani is the leader of the parliamentary party, even though his is the lonely voice, his word may still be carried.
It is Advani's contention that the high command has been succumbing to Yeddyurappa's pressure tactics far too often. If the party again does the same, the faction would be further emboldened and there could be more trouble for the party, said his close confidants. Instead of buckling under pressure every now and then, it would be better for the party to go for fresh polls, he is said to have opined.
Both groups met most of the senior leaders and whoever matters in the high command. Each of the leaders is said to have tactfully told all of them that all problems would be sorted out in a few days.
Informed sources told our correspondent that the high command is only buying time until the presidential election gets over. Any immediate action that would go against the interests of the Yeddyurappa camp could trigger off a rebellion and there could be a cross-voting in the poll, it is being thought.
Many leaders like Gadkari and Anant Kumar have tried to convince Advani that it was in the interests of the party to change the chief minister. However, no one is in a position to cite a single reason for changing Sadananda Gowda.
Gadkari told all the ministers and others from either camp to return to Bangalore immediately and concentrate on the people's problems. Hence they all left on Wednesday. Only Shettar was asked to stay back.
However, in spite of Shettar's best efforts to meet Advani in Delhi, the senior leader remained elusive and meeting him was not possible for the possible future CM of Karnataka on Thursday.
Hence Shettar flew back to Bangalore on Thursday evening. According to Bangalore correspondent, Shettar's camp is trying to save face by saying that Shettar did not make an effort to or have the time to meet Advani.
However, there was another interesting development on Thursday, July 5. Although, most of the ministers and supporters of both factions had left for Bangalore on Wednesday, staunch Gowda supporter and minister Balachandra Laxmanrao Jarkiholi not only stayed behind in the capital but also managed to get an appointment with Nitin Gadkari. He reportedly made a strong case for retaining Sadananda Gowda.
Different groups have been floating stories aimed at serving their own interests. The high command seems to be in as much confusion as the grassroot-level workers.