Keeping tabs on the political grapevine

It’s all in the stars

After the BJP replaced Karnataka chief minister DV Sadananda Gowda, a Vokkaliga, leaders belonging to his community have been left wondering whether there is something wrong with their stars because as many as five Vokkaliga CMs have been unable to complete five years in office. The first Vokkaliga CM who could not to do so was K Hanumanthaiah, who was the CM of the old Mysore State from 1952 to 1956. Hanumanthaiah had to quit after Mysore merged with other areas to form Karnataka in 1956. The other Vokkaliga leaders who could not complete their five years are Kadidal Manjappa, who gave up the post for S Nijalingappa in 1956; HD Deve Gowda, who was the CM for two years before becoming prime minister in 1996. His son HD Kumaraswamy also got two years before his term came to an end in 2004 because there was a rotational agreement with BS Yeddyurappa. While the leaders blame the stars, others would call it a perfect political merry-go-round.

Getting ready for Jagan Reddy

Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi has been meeting party MPs from Andhra Pradesh to discuss the political situation in the state, especially the pros and cons of creating a separate Telangana state and steps to counter the rise of Jaganmohan Reddy. The Congress leadership is worried about the rise of Reddy’s party, particularly after the way the YSR Congress Party decimated the ruling party in the recent by-polls in the state. A decision on Telangana is expected after the presidential and vice-presidential elections. As they say, better late than never.

Who will be the lucky one?

Senior Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee’s nomination as the UPA’s presidential candidate has created a vacancy not only in the ministry of finance and in the Lok Sabha but also in the Congress Core Committee. A few senior leaders are now eyeing the berth in the group, which is a vital link between the party and the government. After Mukherjee’s exit, the group now comprises Congress president Sonia Gandhi, PM Manmohan Singh, AK Antony, P Chidambaram and Ahmed Patel. The race has just begun.


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