A day after the two factions of the ruling BJP called an end to their tussle in Karnataka, a minister, who the rebels had been gunning for, resigned on Monday.
Resignation of Rural Development Minister Shoba Karandlaje, a confidante of Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, was in step with the compromise formula worked out by the BJP brass with the dissidents, led by the Reddy brothers.
Giving into another demand of the rebels, the CM had on Friday shunted his Principal Secretary V.P. Baligar to the industry department.
The only woman in the cabinet, 44-year-old Karandlaje, a first-time MLA from Yeshwantpur in Bangalore, paid the price for her proximity to the CM.
“In politics sometimes there comes an inevitable instance. Sacrifice, honesty and hardwork … sometimes there is no value for them,” Yeddyurappa told mediapersons, doing little to hide his emotions.
Two days ago, in an interview to a Kannada channel, the CM broke down as he talked about the “sacrifices” he had to make to save the government.
The crowd that turned up at his residence on his return from Delhi, however, would have given him a reason to cheer.
Those close to the CM say he wouldn’t give up easily, pointing to the fact that the next step in the peace formula — a cabinet reshuffle to accommodate rebels and leave out some loyalists — won’t be done in a hurry.
The CM indicated as much. He said the proposed coordination committee, which will have among its members his rivals including party general secretary Ananth Kumar and the Reddy brothers, would look into the matter.
Party sources expect the CM to win back 50-odd MLAs, who have aligned with the Reddys. He, they say, may ready a contingency plan to prepare for early elections after presenting the budget six months from now.
On Monday though he appeared willing to work with the rebels. “You will see a different Yeddyurappa…”