A day after Rajya Sabha elections saw ruling BJP winning three seats in Karnataka, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has remarked that no matter whether the Congress or the JD(S) is considered the “B team” of the saffron party, both Opposition parties would now agree that the BJP is the “A team”.
Bommai’s remark on Saturday was a reference to the “BJP’s B team” charge often levelled by the Congress and the JD(S) against each other. “We are not bothered as to who is the ‘B’ team. Though the Congress is expressing confidence of scoring a big victory in the Legislative Council polls, the reality is the BJP has a very good chance to triumph. There is complete unity in the BJP,” he said in Belagavi.
The BJP leader’s statement came after JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy accused the Congress of horse trading, calling it the “B team” of the saffron party. He also alleged that Congress leader Siddaramaiah had a soft corner for Bommai. Cross-voting by disgruntled MLAs—Srinivasa Gowda and Gubbi Srinivas—led to the JD(S) loss in the elections to Parliament’s Upper House.
But Bommai said, “Siddaramaiah is actually targeting me more. You can draw your own conclusions whether he is soft or hard by observing the language Siddaramaiah has been using against me. I have decided not to intervene between the two. Nobody can finish off any party. It is the people who decide the fate,” he said.
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The concept of the BJP’s “B team” emerged in the state after the saffron party and the JD(S) formed a coalition government in 2006. Since then Congress and the JD(S), which are described as secular parties, have used the slur against each other whenever elections are round the corner.
The latest “B team” allegation came after the JD(S) was left empty-handed with the BJP managing to win three Rajya Sabha seats and the Congress one. The JD(S) could not get its candidate, Kupendra Reddy, elected as its MLAs cross-voted.
Whenever there is a hung government or when the Congress or the JD(S) fields a weak candidate against the BJP, the party that fears loss hurls the “B team” charge as a defence.