TNM spoke to leading political analysts Professor Dr Sandeep Shastri and Professor Chandan Gowda on the ongoing political developments.

Collage of Chandan Gowda, Pooja Prasann and Sandeep Shashtri
news Interview Wednesday, July 21, 2021 - 21:55

The will-he-won’t-he saga on Yediyurappa’s resignation as Karnataka Chief Minister has been ongoing for many months but never before have the reports of an exit plan been so strong. Yediyurappa’s departure will mark a change not just in leadership but also in the very nature of Karnataka’s politicise with the BJP high command getting to play a clear role in the state. TNM spoke to leading political analysts Professor Dr Sandeep Shastri and Professor Chandan Gowda on the ongoing political developments as well as what the road ahead looks like. 

Dr Shastri said that the BJP, while not wanting to yield to Yediyurappa also realises that he cannot be ousted easily. “The central leadership in Delhi wants a change but they want to do it in such a way that it will not rock the only government they have managed to form in the south. With elections in Karnataka two years away, this is the right time because they would want to give the new leader enough time to settle down. But they are aware that in the past when attempts were made to ask Yediyurappa to leave it was not a happy parting,” he said. 

“If Yediyurappa is allowed to name his successor, it would have been done by now. The reason it has gotten pulled so much is because the BJP high command wants its stamp on the leadership change,” Dr Shastri told TNM.  “That has been their style for some time. There seems to be a sense of fatigue in Yediyurappa after fighting so many battles. The high command’s strategy is to create an environment where Yediyurappa says I have no other option but to accept after some negotiation what I get. And that is what we see. Yediyurappa’s successor will not be his first choice, it would be the high command’s choice,” he added. 

Chandan Gowda said that the BJP has a significant role in tiring Yediyurappa. “If we see a tired Yediyurappa today, the party has to take responsibility for it. Ever since he was able to engineer the collapse of the coalition government, make them get reelected, give them Cabinet berths, ward off internal dissidence, it has just been crisis management from day 1. And then there was COVID-19 management. If Yediyurappa has to go, then he won't really be gone. It will be with the CM or DyCM of his choice so that it will not seem like an insult.” he said. 

Refusing to shortlist names of possible replacements of Yediyurappa, Dr Shastri said, “If we name 22 possible successors to Yediyurappa, the BJP leadership will find the 23rd person to take over. That is how they function”. 

Watch full video of the TNM discussion here:

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