Yeddyurappa -- A master survivor

Emerging unscathed from yet another crisis, Karnataka CM BS Yeddyurappa has shown his skills as a political survivor, overcoming adversities.

Last Updated: Nov 24, 2010, 19:50 PM IST

Bangalore: Emerging unscathed from yet
another crisis, Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa has
shown his skills as a political survivor, overcoming
adversities emanating from within his own party and the
combined Congress-JDS onslaught to oust him over alleged land
scams.

Ever since he assumed charge as chief minister of the
first BJP government in the south, Yeddyurappa had to juggle
with one crisis or the other, the latest one almost sealing
his fate.
But Yeddyurappa had the last laugh as he battled a spate
of allegations of multi-crore land scams, nepotism and open
violation of rules to favour his kith and kin.

Amid reports that he has been asked to resign by the BJP
leadership, Yeddyurappa managed to rally round his party MPs
and loyalists after remaining defiant and keeping the top
brass guessing on his moves.

According to party sources, Yeddyurappa warned the
central leadership that his exit would mean the end of the
party government as well, a threat which made the senior
leaders to do a rethink on their decision to ask him to quit.

The chief minister, the sources said, also brought out an
ace up his sleeve, the Lingayat caste card.

He belongs to the Lingayat community which constitute
nearly a fifth of the population in Karnataka and also a
strong support base for the BJP.

Yeddyurappa, whose end as chief minister seemed almost
certain, with a smug opposition and his detractors within the
party triumphant over delivering what they believed were
deadly blows, managed to carry the day today with the party
asking him to stay on.

He also managed to rally influential seers around him,
and got them to support him.

Yeddyurappa, who began his rule on sticky wicket two-and-
a-half-years ago, falling short of a majority in the Assembly,
cobbled up a slender majority by luring opposition MLAs and
independents who were made to resign and contest bypolls.
His gambit called `Operation Lotus` paid off in enabling
the BJP to secure the majority in the 224-member House.

But the troubles did not seem to die down with the
powerful Reddy brothers, ministers and mining magnates --
Janardhana and Karunakara -- launching a campaign for his
removal.

The High Command`s intervention ensured his survival
before another wave of dissidence engulfed his government.

As many as 11 BJP rebel MLAS and five independents
withdrew support to his government, pushing it to a precipice.

This too he survived, winning the trust vote twice -- the
first one, carried by voice vote, called unconstitutional by
Governor H R Bhardwaj forcing him to face another floor test
which he won by 106-100 votes.

Yeddyurappa went down in the Indian Legislative history
to be the only chief minister to survive two trust motions in
a week`s time.

Just as he seemed to have surmounted the crisis with the
High Court verdict upholding the disqualification of 11 rebel
MLAs coming as a shot in the arm, trouble erupted again as the
JDS levelled a series of allegations about land scams
involving his family.

However, party sources said, with a section of MLAs still
unhappy with him, trouble is far from over for this BJP
strongman of Karnataka.

PTI