The BJP’s victory in 19 of the 28 seats Lok Sabha seats in Karnataka with 41 per cent votes has increased the clout of Karnataka Chief Minister B.S Yediyurappa, making him one of the party’s star CM.
However, this has led to murmers of infighting within the Karnataka BJP, with rivals alleging that the Chief Minister is becoming autocratic.
The murmers grew louder when some prominent leaders stayed away from a well-attended function organised in Bangalore on Sunday to mark the completion of the first year of the Yediyurappa government.
The prominent ones were: Energy Minster K.S. Eshwarappa, State Planning Board deputy Chairman D.H. Shankar Murthi, Revenue Minister G. Karunakara Reddy, Tourism Minister G. Janardana Reddy and Health and Family Welfare Minister B. Sriramulu.
Thus, Yediyurappa’s strength may also become his undoing. His strength first: he is the first BJP CM in south India, who comes from the powerful Lingayat caste – reportedly 13 per cent of Karnataka’s population.
His relatively low profile with good results is making him the latest entrant of the Shivraj Singh Chouhan-Raman Singh club of successful low-profile Chief Ministers. Who match Narendra Modi in success without his shrill rhetoric.
But, his increasing clout has ruffled some feathers, and absence from the function is being seen as a pointer to the simmering anger of some.
Allegations are flying around. That Lingayats are getting too much importance; that Yediyurappa’s family is interfering too much with the administration. The CM too has made indirect attacks on other leaders.