The huge loss suffered by the JD(S)-BJP combine in the Lok Sabha bypolls in Karnataka cannot be viewed as a defeat of the prospects for a united alliance of opposition parties in the state,the contours of which have emerged in the past month,according to former BJP chief minister and president of the breakaway Karnataka Janata Party B S Yeddyurappa.
Yeddyurappa has also been part of the efforts at a new alliance of opposition parties to take on the Congress in Karnataka and allied with the BJP to contest one of three seats to the state legislative council held on August 22 as part of an elaborate arrangement involving the JD(S)-BJP-KJP for the two sets of elections to Parliament and the state council held on August 21 and 22.
Under the arrangement,the JD(S) withdrew all its candidates for the elections to three council seats from Mysore,Dharwad and Chitradurga results for which are scheduled on Monday in return for the BJP withdrawing its candidates for the bypoll to two Lok Sabha seats. In more agreements,the BJP withdrew its candidate for the Mysore legislative council seat to help the KJP candidate and the KJP withdrew its candidates in Dharwad and Chitradurga to help the BJP.
The cumulative effect of all these arrangements for the polls held on August 21 and 22 has been straight fights for seats between the Congress and one of the three major opposition parties. With the JD(S)-BJP alliance for the Parliament bypolls failing miserably,questions are being asked if the coming together of the opposition will end up benefitting the Congress rather than upsetting it.
The opposition did not come together for the Parliament polls as is being widely perceived. There was an alliance in only one or two small segments. There was confusion because of the lack of clarity on whether an alliance is in place or not. Since there was no alliance it would not be right to write off an alliance of the opposition parties to fight the Congress, Yeddyurappa said.
Yeddyurappa,who has been waiting for a call-up to rejoin the BJP ever since Narendra Modi assumed centrestage in the party,is now growing increasingly frustrated over the failure of the BJP to expedite his return,sources close to the KJP leader said.
Though the state BJP leadership has gone on record to say that it is keen on having Yeddyurappa back a final decision by the party high command is expected to be delayed beyond September when a return was expected to coincide with a tour of Karnataka by Modi. I am not planning to go anywhere. I am focused on strengthening the KJP ahead of the parliamentary polls. One or two of our leaders have been saying that we should go with the Congress. It is still too early to think about tie-ups for the parliamentary polls since there is six more months, Yeddyurappa said.
One of the reasons being cited by Yeddyurappa aides for the delay in his return to the BJP is the opposition from BJP patriarch L K Advani,who believes it will dilute the BJPs anti-corruption stance ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. The party leadership does not want to anger Advani any more after the call it took on Modi. In Advanis heart,the corruption issue is still a problem. They dont want to displease him, a source said.
Yeddyurappa quit the BJP in December 2012 after nursing a grudge against the party for forcing him out of power in 2011 in the light of corruption charges in a report of the Karnataka Lok Ayukta on illegal mining.