Terms for reunification
It is acknowledged within both the BJP and the KJP that it is only a question of time before the two parties become one again. KJP president B S Yeddyurappa is now more or less openly expressing his intent to align with his former party ahead of the parliament polls. That is expected to happen around the time Narendra Modi visits Karnataka in a month or so. Meanwhile,however,the BJP is chewing on a few demands by Yeddyurappa for the reunification. The most indigestible among them for the BJP is a demand that Yeddyurappas candidates be fielded in 10 of the states 28 constituencies. Another is that his long-time aide Shobha Karandlaje,a former minister who lost the assembly polls,be made a member of the legislative council. The third demand is that Yeddyurappa should be designated the BJPs leader of the opposition in the assembly. Given Yeddyurappas good equations with Modi,his camp is confident that some middle ground will be found.
Bypoll boost after cabinet denial
The sudden announcement of by polls to two parliamentary seats in south Karnataka,in the heartland of the dominant Vokkaliga community,has brought to life a senior Vokkaliga Congress leader who lost out on a ministerial position in the Congress government in the state in May on account of a criminal record. The announcement of the elections to the Mandya and Bangalore Rural constituencies on August 25 has reinvigorated the political fortunes of D K Shivakumar,who has the capacity to take on the might of the Janata Dal (Secular) in the region. The buzz in the Congress is that he has proposed a formula that involves him getting a ministers job while his brother contests the bypoll on the Congress ticket from Bangalore Rural.
A Community aggrieved
The new government has managed to alienate the Vokkaligas,one of the two major communities in the state. With Siddaramaiah,a backward caste Kuruba community leader,being the chief minister,it was known that the Congresss ties with the Vokkaligas would suffer due to internecine rivalries. The widespread transfer of Vokkaliga government officials from postings in the Vokkaliga heartland in south Karnataka by the new government soon after assuming power has now reportedly increased the distance between the Congress and the dominant south Karnataka community. JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy latched on to this alleged discrimination at a Vokkaliga congregation recently. An income tax raid on a medical college run by a Vokkaliga math has been widely condemned by the Vokkaligas.
Kumaraswamy looks back
Janata Dal (Secular) leader H D Kumaraswamy has suggested B S Yeddyurappa could have stayed chief minister longer if he had been willing to make some adjustments with the JD(S). Kumaraswamy,responsible for a series of disclosures of corruption by Yeddyurappa,claimed he would have held back on the disclosures if the then chief minister had been more accommodating of the JD(S)s demands. Kumaraswamy has dropped hints the JD(S) will not shy away from aligning with the BJP in the future.