Fearing dismissal of its government in Karnataka following an adverse report by Governor H.R. Bharadwaj against the way the party “won” the vote of confidence, the BJP is bracing itself for battle with the Centre over “misuse” of the governor’s office.
There is also widespread feeling that poor crisis management and the Chief Minister’s adventurism may end up costing the party its first government in the south.
Sources said Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj —who had asked for recall of the governor Sunday — has cancelled her Bihar campaign trip for Tuesday, as a party delegation is slated to meet the President that day. Before this a core group meet is expected on Tuesday, said a leader.
Senior leaders M. Venkaiah Naidu and Ananth Kumar, and national spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain accused the Governor of acting like a Congress agent. BJP president Nitin Gadkari criticised the governor and hoped the Centre would not “destabilise” the government.
However, there is a perception that poor crisis management by B.S. Yeddyurappa perpetrated the crisis.
The party had deputed a battery of leaders to win back the rebels, though some perceived the efforts as inadequate. While Ananth Kumar was actively involved, M. Venkaiah Naidu was sent to Bangalore. In Goa, Manohar Parikkar was supposed to protect the flock holed up in a hotel. The Reddy brothers were trying to win the MLAs back — their failure could harm their reputation as resourceful managers — and Gadkari was in touch with the involved.
Yeddyurappa is being blamed for inviting the rebellion in the first place. “Yeddyurappa had finally managed to get the central leadership’s blessings against the Reddys, but he perhaps stretched the point too far by immediately going for a cabinet reshuffle to prove that he was in charge...” said a leader.
Another said saving the government through disqualification may have backfired. The party, however, is defending the disqualifications, including of independent MLAs. “These independents had joined the party… they had indicated as much to us in writing,” Hussain told HT.