BS Yeddyurappa or the man who had led the BJP to victory in Karnataka in 2008, helping it to form its first government in the South, left the party in December 2012 after 40 years. He was indicted by the state Lokayukta of corruption and nepotism. Subsequently, he resigned as the CM, did a stint in jail and later left his parent party after much bitterness and finally formed his own party - the Karnataka Janata Party. Needless to say, even with the taint of corruption over him, BSY’s leaving the BJP was a big blow to the party as he was and remains one of the most popular leaders of the Lingayat community which are traditionally seen to vote as a block.
Also, in a setback to the BJP, couple of its leaders like Belur Gopalakrishna, Shashil Namoshi, Manappa Vajjal and Raju Gowda joined the JD(S) after feeling left out in ticket distribution.
Meanwhile, the Congress, though feeling upbeat after reports indicate that it is set to form the next government in the southern state, is reeling under its own problems of rebellion and dissidence. One of the glaring examples is the much publicized battle for Srirangapatna ticket in Mandya district between former union minister SM Krishna and Union Minister and actor MH Ambareesh. The Congress high command finally buckled under pressure from Ambareesh, who had refused to file his nomination papers from Mandya and replaced Srirangapatna`s candidate Ravindra Srikantaiah, who was SM Krishna`s nominee with SL Lingaraju, an Ambareesh supporter.
In more headaches for the Congress, former minister and Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee vice-president A Krishnappa declared that he was leaving the party to join the Janata Dal (Secular) chief HD Deve Gowda as he was angry at the decision to field Bhyrati Basavaraju in KR Puram. Meanwhile, G Padmavathi, three-time BBMP councillor, is contesting as a rebel candidate from Rajajinagar as she was angry with the Congress decision to give ticket to the Karnataka Mahila Congress president Manjula Naidu.
The BJP could have done without this one – The porn scandal which rocked the Karnataka Assembly on February last year when three of its ministers, Laxman Savadi, CC Patil and Krishna Palemar, were caught on camera watching sleazy clippings on their mobile phone in the House. The Opposition Congress and JDS members sought suspension and disqualification of the ministers involved and subsequently the then chief minister DV Sadananda Gowda removed them from the Cabinet. However, the damage had been done with the episode denting the party’s image and leaving the people of the state shocked.
Another episode which embarrassed the BJP was the resignation of Food and civil supplies minister Haratalu Halappa in 2010, when BS Yeddyurappa was the CM, following a report in a Kannada daily that he had allegedly sexually assaulted a friend`s wife in Shimoga. The Congress and the Janata Dal (S) seized the opportunity to hit out at the BJP and Halappa saying that it was a political conspiracy hatched by his opponents did not really have any takers.