There is no danger to Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa’s government as some sections are speculating over the meeting of some legislators, a Bharatiya Janata Party leader said yesterday, adding “the BJP leadership is with him.”
“The BJP party high command is with Yediyurappa, there is no danger to his government. He is a seasoned politician and knows how to deal with people,” party spokesman G Madhusudhana told IANS.
His comments assume significance in the backdrop of reports that some north Karnataka legislators met over dinner and discussed strategies to make Yediyurappa expand his cabinet to include leaders such as Umesh V Katti and others.
Fifteen BJP legislators met at Katti’s house on Thursday over dinner for two hours and purportedly devised plans to exert pressure on Yediyurappa to induct them into the cabinet.
Polls for the legislative council and Rajya Sabha are due in the state and the cabinet had decided to allow the chief minister to select five MLCs.
Senior leader Chitradurga legislator G H Thippareddy is reportedly unhappy over not getting a position despite being a six-time lawmaker.
Similarly, Katti is also reportedly miffed over not being given a ministerial post and is said to have arranged the dinner meeting.
Katti is also planning to pressure Yediyurappa to consider his brother Ramesh Katti for a Rajya Sabha ticket.
Likewise, Vijayapura MLA Basanagouda Patil Yatnal was also identified as one of the unhappy leaders who attended the meeting.
However, Madhusudhana said not much should be read in the MLAs’ meeting as such feasts are common among lawmakers from north Karnataka.
“There is a custom with north Karnataka MLAs that they meet over food regularly whenever they are in Bengaluru. Many of them were also deprived of authentic north Karnataka cuisine for a long time because of the lockdown,” he said.
Madhusudhana said the MLAs had discussed problems in their native districts where there is a shortage of water and labourers are migrating to Goa, Maharashtra and Telangana.
He said it is normal for a politician to have ambitions.
“Every political enthusiast dreams of being a legislator. On becoming one, he wants to be a minister and later the chief minister and, if given a chance, the prime minister also,” he said.
“Anybody aiming to outlive one’s capacity causes problems”, said Madhusudhana.
“But is it true that they are capable of toppling the government? No. Do they want the toppling of the government? No.”
He said the party has to live up to the promise of accommodating the MLAs who gave up their positions in the previous government to bring the BJP to power.
“Though everybody wants to be a minister or get a plum post, they cannot talk to Yediyurappa about it. They have all won the elections under his leadership.
They know what is the capacity of Yediyurappa,” he said.
Madhusudhana said people would not pardon anybody who ditches Yediyurappa and their political life will end if they do so.
“They are all scared of Yediyurappa, they are all scared of the people.”
The spokesman said there are small hiccups in the party, which is common in every party.
“We will have to bear with it and we will have to crush it if something more happens,” he said.
Madhusudhana said there are three ‘Cs’ in politics - confuse, convince and crush - which can be used to bring order.
He expressed confidence in Yediyurappa, saying he is an old player who knows how to set things in order.
Earlier, Katti too denied any ulterior motives to the dinner meeting. Speaking to media, he claimed that it was merely a meeting to savour the delectable foodstuffs of north Karnataka.
Katti said any grievances would be discussed in the party forums.
However, some of the MLAs who were present at the lunch indicated all was not well.
Some of them claimed that development works in their constituencies have been pending for long.
Meanwhile, the chief minister’s camp has been on an overdrive mode to quell the atmosphere of uncertainty.
The chief minister tweeted on Friday, “I have noticed news reports that I have convened an emergency meeting with a few legislators, but it’s far from truth”.
Yediyurappa ‘s acolytes in the party have ruled out any trouble for the government.
Water Resources Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi claimed that around 25 Congress legislators are in touch with him and he can get around five of them to jump ship immediately on a trial basis.
Deputy Chief Minister Laxman Savadi also made similar claims.
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