In its current form, resort politics in Karnataka can be traced back to 2008-2009

Will the BJP become a victim of the very resort politics that it artfully developedBJP corporators marching in protest in Bengaluru
news Tuesday, September 08, 2015 - 15:34


Karnataka Resort politics! Round number, … er… er… Sorry we’ve lost count

Like the drought that turns up every few years, Karnataka’s political parties resort to what has been called “resort politics” – the practice of political parties trying to save their elected representatives and even independents from the evil poaching-minded eye of rivals.

Possibly for the first time, resort politics are being played out over urban local body elections, but it’s not just any local body. The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is a cash cow, and going by reports of the CAG pointing out financial irregularities, one that is being milked for what it is worth.

A day after the results to the BBMP elections were declared, it was clear to everybody that there was going to be hectic parleying, and that the Janata Dal (Secular) could tip the scales either way in the Bengaluru Mayor's election. But to everyone’s mild surprise, first the independent corporators were moved to a resort in Kerala more than a week ago. Just as everyone was getting tired of their visuals of walking, jogging or eating, the JD (S) shipped its councilors off to a resort in Kerala, with city MLA Zameer Ahmed actually driving everybody to the airport. 

In a week’s time, the Congress followed suit, with the party taking its councilors to resorts in Madikeri (Kodagu district), the Taj Vivanta and Club Mahindra according to Kannada daily Prajavani.

Congress sources quoted by Prajavani say that independents in Kerala resorts are likely to join the Congress councilors in Madikeri.

The BJP has been crying foul about the Congress’ devious ways, but seems to be conveniently forgetting that they made resort politics a professional art in Karnataka.

This is not the first time that Karnataka has seen “resort politics”. The peculiar kind of politics in which parties herd their representatives to hotels or resorts, is surely the most blatant sign of horse trading.

In its current form, resort politics in Karnataka can be traced back to 2008-2009 when the Bellary Reddy brothers shipped MLAs to Hyderabad’s Novotel hotel, in their bid to oust BS Yeddyurappa. The Reddy revolution happened twice during Yeddyurappa’s regime.

But later, the same Yeddyurappa who had lamented against ‘resort politics’ lead many MLAs to a resort in the outskirts of Bengaluru in 2011 demanding that Sadananda Gowda be made CM, not Jagdish Shettar.

In the mother of all u-turns, Yeddyurappa again took a group of MLAs to a resort in March 2012, this time demanding the ouster of Sadananda Gowda and his own reinstatement

This round of resort politics will come to a close on September 11 as BBMP corporators and ex-officio members will elect the city’s Mayor and deputy. Time for Karnataka’s politicians to keep in mind that ‘what goes around, come around.’