The former Chief Minister of Karnataka B S Yeddyurappa is on a war path with his own party the BJP. He has blamed Chief Minister DV Sadananda Gowda, state president KS Eshwarappa and party national general secretary Ananth Kumar, for all the ills plaguing the state BJP.
In the past Yeddyurappa has warned the BJP several times that he is on the verge of quitting the party. He claims to have support of many MLAs in the legislative assembly and if he decides to pull the rug, it’s certain that the BJP government in the lone southern state.
The reasons for his disenchantment with the BJP is the party he has so diligently established in Karnataka, has not come to his rescue when he is under corruption scanner and so are his of his two sons and his son-in-law.
The Central Bureau of Investigation has conducted raids at Yeddyurappa’s premises and also at the residences of his kin. The CBI is searching for evidence that as Chief Minister, he gave undue favors to mining companies who gave him huge donations to trusts that’s run by his family.
The CBI is also looking for documents and evidence pertaining to the denotification of land done by him that was alleged to be illegal.
The major part of the CBI investigation is relating to the money trail that the Jindal group is blamed for transferring money to an NGO run by Yeddyurappa’s kin.
The CBI investigation is conducted on the directive of the Supreme Court, after a FIR was filed accusing against Yeddyurappa, and his kin of offences under the prevention of corruption act and also illegal mining.
There are political repercussions of the raids for the BJP. As things stands this may snowball into major controversy and if the powerful Lingayatas, whom Yeddyurappa represents, pulls the rug, it could be curtains for the lotus symbol in south India.
The BJP has made Yeddyurappa to quit as Chief Minister last year after he was indicted in a report on illegal mining. The former Chief Minister has not taken this lightly. He has been demanding that he be allowed to return to office but the BJP has not heeded to it.
As the cases of corruption against Yeddyurappa have progressed, his insistence has become more public. However, BJP made it clear that he cannot head its only government in the South.
Yeddyurappa changed his guard and altered his wish-list slightly. He asked the party high command to pick the Chief Minister from his community, the Lingayatas, a powerful vote-bank in Karanataka.
The BJP allowed him to go ahead and Yeddyurappa personally selected DV Sadananda Gowda as his successor Chief Minister.
However, in course of time the differences have developed between them and the the two are now dagger drawn. Yeddyurappa is also having problem with Ananth Kumar, national general secretary, whom he accuses of harboring Chief Ministers ambition. He is also at loggerhead with BJP state president KS Eshwarappa
The CBI raids have come at a time when the relationship between former Karnataka Chief Minister and the BJP is nearing the breaking point. Yeddyurappa has announced that he will not attend the BJP conclave in Mumbai.
All this could be a trigger a drama that may be in the offing of unfolding. If Yeddyurappa goes ahead to play the spoilsports, it could have serious repercussions for the BJP.
The Congress is waiting in the wings to take the advantage of the situation. One has to wait and watch how this story plays itself out.
Syed Ali Mujtaba is a journalist based in Chennai. He can be contacted at email@example.com