BJP ‘castes’ a trap for Yeddyu­rappa

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Former CM B.S. Yeddyu­rappa has still two weeks to go before bidding adieu to the BJP at the December 9 convention of his new party at Haveri but the ruling BJP seems to have already dumped him by deciding to fall back on a tried and tested caste formula to counter the Ling­ayat strongman.

As part of this plan, fellow Linga­yat, Jagadish Shett­ar will be projected as CM candidate, a Vokkaliga, former chief minister D.V. Sad­an­anda Gowda as state party chief with K.S. Esh­warappa to ensure the Ku­rubas stay with the party.

This is the BJP’s Linga­yat-Kuruba Gowda-LKG for­mula to win the 2013 elections, party sources said.

With top leaders worried over Mr Yeddy­ura­ppa’s draw among the do­minant Veerashaivas am­ong whom the BJP’s prospects maybe rapidly dimming, projecting She­ttar as chief minister is an attempt to keep the BJP’s vote intact in 70 of the 224 constituencies, where Lingayats dominate.

High level sources said that “the announcement will be made only after Dec. 9 rally when Mr Yeddyurappa kicks off his new party.

By projecting Mr Shettar as the CM candidate, the BJP leadership believes it can punish the Lingayat strongmen for deserting the party after he had enjoyed all the power as an opposition leader and a chief minister, with the backing of the party and the community.”

The source added: “It is a known fact that Mr Ye­dd­yurappa relies dee­p­ly on the Lingayat vote bank in north Karnataka.”

The party will make the announcement of Sadan­anda Gowda’s appointment as state party chief soon af­ter Mr Yeddy­urappa an­no­unces his exit on Nov. 30, highly placed sources said. Sources close to Mr Gowda said he was preparing to take over his old job.

BSY or BJP? lOyalists in a dilemma

As the much-awaited December 9 convention to launch former minister B.S. Yeddyurappa's new political outfit at Haveri draws near, several of his loyalists are finding it difficult to choose between their leader and the BJP for which they have worked for many years.

In Belgaum, Rajya Sabha member Prabhakar Kore gave indications that he would attend Mr Yeddyurappa's convention while Kannada and culture minister Govind Karjol, considered a strong supporter of BSY for many years, is not sure which side he should go.

At a programme in Mudhol, Mr Karjol appreciated Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar's style of functioning and said the CM was doing a tremendous job for the state in his own, quiet way. “Shettar has made a great contribution to the development of north Karnataka,'' he said.

However, many Lingayat MLAs led by Mr Kore are set to join Mr Yeddyurappa after boycotting the Belgaum session. “It is not an easy choice for legislators.

But Yeddyurappa’s move to launch a party is sure to elicit a positive response from legislators loyal to him in north Karnataka,'' said a BJP MP.

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