When was the final time you heard a member of parliament diss his personal constituency as a “terror hub” as Tejaswi Surya did this week?
The reply is “never”. Yet, as an alternative of reprimanding the first-term MP, union Home Minister Amit Shah, promptly gave him extra fireplace energy and political capital by permitting Surya to be one among his first guests in his prolonged COVID-19 convalescence. Shah additionally accepted the 29-year-old’s petition on investigating the alleged “terror hub”.
Surya’s feedback left many BJP leaders dazed and confused apart from B S Yediyurappa, the Chief Minister of Karnataka. The 77-year-old’s well-honed alarm system, attuned to political coups (each engineering them and being susceptible to them) flashed Code Red after Surya’s salvo. There is little doubt for BSY, as he’s identified, and his cohort that the mission to embarrass him is engineered by B L Santosh, the RSS pracharak (full-timer) on lien to the BJP as General Secretary (Organization), probably the most highly effective publish within the social gathering aside from president.
Santosh, whose house state is Karnataka, has by no means hidden his ambition to interchange Yediyurappa, hoping to emulate the style through which Narendra Modi transitioned to being Gujarat Chief Minister, says a senior BJP chief.
Surya is a surrogate for 50-something Santosh, say sources near Yediyurappa. Santosh had ensured that Surya be named the BJP candidate from Bengaluru (South); Yediyurappa wished to present the seat to veteran chief Ananth Kumar’s widow, Tejaswini. Kumar had represented the constituency of Bengaluru (south) for practically twenty years.
Yediyurappa, whose profession is studded with direct confrontations with detractors inside and out of doors his social gathering, is completely on the again foot. “Imagine his plight. A BJP leader trashes his own constituency and a BJP-ruled state and the Chief Minister is forced to keep mum. Yediyurappa is walking the political tight rope”,” said. BSY supporter to me. Yediyurappa has already crossed the Modi and Shah-imposed age limit of 75 when senior leaders are put out to pasture.
Shah and Modi have never been particularly fond of BSY who is less obsequious with them that appears to have become customary within their party. BSY believes he is the only mass leader of his party in the South and deserves more credit than he gets for giving the BJP its first government in the region.
With age (and, allegedly Shah) catching up, BSY is seeking an upward trend for the political career of his son B Y Vijayendra, who is called “Super CM” by detractors. Seven months ago, seven BJP MLAs owing allegiance to Santoshwrote a letter to the BJP president accusing Vijayendra of running a parallel government and misusing his proximity to his father.
Santosh has convinced Shah that Vijayendra should not be his father’s successor and that BSY’s veto in Karnataka affairs should be taken away.
Since the Chief Minister can’t vent publicly against the trio of Surya, Santosh and Shah, he attacked a news channel, Power TV, which recently aired a sting allegedly exposing acts of corruption by his relative. The Bengaluru police started an investigation against the channel on Monday. Sources close to BSY claim that the material for the sting operation was provided by a group of “disgruntled” BJP leaders.
Shah has already successfully proven BSY who’s the boss by not giving in to earlier requests on cupboard enlargement and rejecting Yediyurappa’s Karnataka Rajya Sabha picks in favour of Santosh’s decisions.
Yediyurappa is holding out his favorite carrot (of a spot in his cupboard) to his detractors hoping for a change in allegiance. Yediyurappa instructed reporters yesterday that he would seek the advice of the BJP and increase his cupboard quickly. This can be Yediyurappa’s second journey this month as he had come earlier and met Modi and J P Nadda looking for the go-ahead for enlargement.
As BSY circles his wagons, Santosh and Shah are respiration down his neck. Expect the proxy conflict to proceed. The subsequent public splash will likely be when the Karnataka meeting periods begins. BSY will go down combating, say his shut aides.
(Swati Chaturvedi is an writer and a journalist who has labored with The Indian Express, The Statesman and The Hindustan Times.)
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