New Delhi: Defending the BJP decision to replace Sadanand Gowda as Chief Minister in Karnataka, the JD-U on Sunday said the leading NDA party had to take the decision to keep its vote base intact and the flock together ahead of the Presidential election.
Asserting that caste is a reality in Karnataka as well as in the whole country, JD-U president Sharad Yadav said, the BJP has taken the right decision by replacing Sadanand Gowda with Jagadish Shettar as "BJP has to keep its Lingayat vote base intact".
The JD-U chief insisted that caste has its influence in the whole country, including Karnataka, and politics does function under its influence.
"A number of decisions have to be taken in politics due it (caste). Lingayat vote which was earlier with the JD-S has now come to BJP and they have to keep this vote base intact", Yadav claimed.
Yadav`s comment on caste politics in BJP ruled Karnataka is significant in the backdrop of an earlier controversy over Narendra Modi`s remark blamimg caste politics for the lack of development in Nitish Kumar ruled Bihar.
Shettar belongs to the Lingayat community and has been made the third CM after the BJP came to power in Karnataka in 2008. The party`s Lingayat face and former CM BS Yeddyurappa has been pressing the BJP to make Shettar CM replacing Gowda, who occupied the top post in the state when Yeddyurappa had to step down from chief ministership following corruption charges.
Gowda is in fact a "political sacrifice" and a fallout of the Presidential election as the BJP wanted to keep its vote base intact, Yadav claimed.
There have been reports that Congress managers were reaching out to Yeddyurappa`s camp for its support for Pranab Mukherjee`s Presidential candidature even as the BJP declared the party backing for P A Sangma.
Yeddyurappa has not been in the best of terms with the BJP central leadership for quite sometime.
Yadav said that Gowda had to anyhow go before the assembly elections as the Lingayat community, to which Yeddurappa belongs, has a sizeable population in the state.
However, the Presidential election has brought Gowda`s exit early, he averred.