Why not trust the organization, Mr.BS Yeddyurappa?

“A man who does not know how to ride a horse desires another horse” – is a famous Vachana which best describes BJP Karnataka leaders. When the BJP is winning every state and local election across the country, the state BJP has lost the recent by-elections and party leaders are fighting like cats and dogs. Last week’s “Save the organization” convention, the press-conference by some MPs and MLAs in response to the convention, the use of disrespectful language against senior leaders, the accusations and counter-accusations, all must have snatched the TRPs of many TV serials.

When the other states are progressing under Narendra Modi’s development agenda and powered by young thinkers, the state BJP is pursuing old-style caste and populist politics. One of the leaders who made a verbal attack on K. S. Eshwarappa demanded to know what he had done for Kurubas (the community K. S. Eshwarappa belongs to) and added that B. S. Yeddyurappa was responsible for starting Kanaka Jayanti (Kanakadasa is a saint from the Kuruba community). When Yogi Adityanath is making refreshing changes such as removing holidays declared on the pretext of Jayantis, BJP Karnataka leaders still follow Jayanti style politics of a bygone era. This exposes their archaic mindset. There seems to be no difference between the Congress’ Bhagya politics and the BJP’s Jayanti politics. What is the media doing instead of questioning this?

On Friday’s, in popular newspaper Vishwavani, columnist Raghavendra Bhat wrote ridiculously that dethroning BSY was B. L. Santhosh’s goal and that all the turmoil in the party was due to K. S. Eshwarappa & team. He writes that the purpose of the ‘rebellion’ is to get BSY removed from the President’s post. He presumptuously writes further that “B. L. Santhosh’s group” had therefore organized the convention to raise the demand that K. S. Eshwarappa should replace BSY as President. He also claims that efforts are already on in Delhi to make BSY the chairman of the Campaign Committee and make him a dummy office-bearer.

If, as claimed by the reporter, B.L Santhosh was really opposed to BSY’s appointment as President, he could have stopped the appointment. Does anyone think he does not have that much power? A year ago when BSY was announced as the President of the party and as the CM candidate of the party, the same people who now organized the “Save the organization” program, celebrated the announcement. If within a year, things have become bitter, would not a political reporter know the reasons for this change?

What has B. S. Yeddyurappa done after taking over the party reins? He built a fortress around himself and surrounded himself with his sycophants. The sycophants had disappeared from the party scene after BSY stepped down from the CM’s chair. The sycophants have been allowed to occupy all important positions so that they are in a commanding position to call the shots in the party if BSY becomes CM or in case of any other unforeseen scenarios.

On social media, B. S. Yeddyurappa’s followers have descended to cheap and personal attacks. The effigy of Chakarvarthi Sulibele, a social activist & orator, was burnt when he tweeted following the loss in the by-elections. He tweeted that the BJP needs B. L. Santhosh back as strategist. Subsequently, Sulibele was accused of opposing a certain community. Now, trolls are sharing old photos of Sulibele on social media. Isn’t the social media team appointed by B. S. Yeddyurappa not aware of these developments? Why the trolls are not advised by this team that such attacks will further damage the image of B. S. Yeddyurappa rather than the persons they attack?

The situation is very clear. Those close to B. S. Yeddyurappa are more interested in pleasing him than working for the party. People close to B. S. Yeddyurappa are themselves complaining that those who join the party now have selfish motives. Instead of maintaining proximity with their leader, if the sycophants had maintained proximity with the voters, the party would have won the 2 recent by-elections.

In the past, B. S. Yeddyurappa had accused Ananth Kumar’s group of working against him. Now, he accuses B. L. Santhosh, an RSS pracharak and National Organizing General Secretary (Joint). When their leader openly accuses a person, will the sycophants be far away? A vile & cheap campaign is being carried out on social media and mainstream media against a pracharak who sacrificed his personal life for the sake of nation. In such a scenario, B. S. Yeddyurappa’s image is bound to get dented further.

Unfortunately, due to some irresponsible statements made in the distant past, K. S. Eshwarappa is seen as the villain in this episode. The media is writing stories to that effect and the media is made to write such stories. But, if K. S. Eshwarappa is having to lead the “Save the organization” effort, B. S. Yeddyurappa and his group shares a major portion of the blame for damaging the organization.

Bhat in his column claims, “When the karyakartas were demotivated by the BJP’s shameful stint in administration in the state, B. L. Santhosh was their last hope. But, B. L. Santhosh was made to believe by some that if Modi could go from a full-time RSS worker to become the PM candidate, why could he not become the Chief Minister”. The author perhaps does not know that when such a proposal was brought by some people before B. L. Santhosh after B. S. Yeddyurappa quit office, he told them in no uncertain terms that he was a pracharak and had no aspirations to become CM.

I would like to bring an incident to the notice of those propagating the BSY versus BL Santosh theory. The incident is being forwarded in WhatsApp groups. Around the time of 2014 elections, B. S. Yeddyurappa had just then returned from the KJP to the BJP. The election campaign was in full swing. From Shimoga, BJP had fielded BSY, Congress fielded Jayaram Hegde and Geetha Rajkumar was the JDS candidate. There was absolutely no doubt that BSY would win. But a TV channel was making a prediction to the contrary and projected Geeta as winner. This caused discomfort in the BJP circles. Meanwhile, the TV channel’s marketing team visited the BJP headquarters to seek sponsorship. Although B. L. Santhosh never met teams from other channels, he personally met this team and said, “Your channel is predicting a loss for B. S. Yeddyurappa in Shimoga. Our party welcomes value-based journalism. You are welcome to highlight those areas where our organization is weak. But how can anyone believe that B. S. Yeddyurappa will lose Shimoga ? You have received money from the other candidate and carrying on a misinformation campaign. You should be ashamed”. The TV channel team was at a loss for words and promised to rectify their mistake.

But, look at the behavior of B. S. Yeddyurappa’s supporters with regard to B. L. Santhosh. It is condemnable. After the BJP won UP elections, many newspapers published false information that B. L. Santhosh was asked by the national leadership to stay away from the state unit. When B. S. Yeddyurappa quit BJP and formed KJP, it was B. L. Santhosh who along with loyal party workers saved the party from disintegration. Was that a crime?

If the goal of the ‘rebels’ was to dethrone B. S. Yeddyurappa, why would the ‘rebels’ keep referring to him as their CM candidate? The truth is that K. S. Eshwarappa and team are questioning the qualifications of the people who surround B. S. Yeddyurappa and the working style of B. S. Yeddyurappa.

Neither B. L. Santhosh nor K. S. Eshwarappa has said anywhere that B. S. Yeddyurappa is not the party’s CM candidate. But some mischief-mongers are planting insecurities in B. S. Yeddyurappa’s mind. They seem to be more worried about losing their chair more than about BSY losing his chair. Or, they could be strengthening themselves for the post-B. S. Yeddyurappa era, by maintaining proximity to him.

When the national leadership has declared B. S. Yeddyurappa as CM candidate and when all state leaders have accepted it, why is he throwing unnecessary tantrums and causing confusion in the minds of the people of Karnataka. Take a look at the faces of those around him. Are they faces that appeal to youngsters or do they stand for clean, development-oriented politics? The people of the state are not looking for a regime by the Congress-B team. This is not 2008; it is 2018. Why cannot he take along youngsters who are in tune with the aspirations of people today?

What will B. S. Yeddyurappa achieve by attacking B. L. Santhosh? What does B. L. Santhosh have to lose? If this fight continues, the party and loyal party workers will be the losers. This truth has to be understood by B. S. Yeddyurappa. The root cause of the problem is neither B. L. Santhosh nor K. S. Eshwarappa. The dictatorial style and autocratic decision-making by B. S. Yeddyurappa, his nepotism are the main reasons. Even now it is not too late. B. S. Yeddyurappa should break the wall of sycophants around him, put an end to the games played by them, identify real party well-wishers and develop a manifesto for clean, new politics. More importantly, he should remove insecurities from his mind and reaffirm to himself strongly that he is indeed the CM candidate.

Rakesh Shetty, Engineer, Columnist

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