Days after former Karnataka Chief Minister SM Krishna quit the Congress party, accusing them of sidelining him, the BJP seems set to make its move to woo the leader.
BJP state president BS Yeddyurappa offered to visit SM Krishna’s residence and then hold talks with the senior leader and also offer him an invitation to join the saffron party.
Will SM Krishna meet Yeddyurappa? For now, the leader who was with the Congress for 46 years, has kept the suspense going. SM Krishna told the media that he was in Maddur on Monday and would not like to react now.
Yeddyurappa, meanwhile, is off to Delhi, where he is expected to meet the BJP's top leadership. Sources in state BJP say that Krishna's matter will most likely be taken up in the meeting.
However, during the press conference held on Sunday, the former External Affairs Minister had dismissed questions regarding him floating his own party or joining the BJP.
Krishna had also said that he was not quitting politics. “In 2012, I was asked if I would retire from politics. I said politicians never retire, they only fade away,’’ said Krishna. He said he was not interested in an offer to join the BJP, which was made by fellow Vokkaliga and Union minister D V Sadananda Gowda.
Krishna’s resignation seems to have opened up doors of hope for the BJP as the party is in need of Vokkaliga votes. Krishna seems to be a good candidate for the job, as the former Karnataka CM began his career by winning the Vokkaliga vote in Maddur after defeating the Congress candidate. He was also elected as the MP from Maddur multiple times.
The BJP stands to gain some support in Maddur and Old Mysore if they can rope in Krishna.
The former Union minister also had a firm standing in Bengaluru city. With Krishna’s support, the BJP may be looking to turn the votes of the city-dwellers as he was instrumental in making Bengaluru the IT hub and garnering global recognition for it.
But more than Krishna's influence, the BJP is also hoping to send the message that they respect stalwarts, even if the Congress does not.
The meeting between Yeddyurappa and Krishna may be crucial to BJP as the party is keen to make a comeback in Karnataka.
SM Krishna's exit was not a strategic move, but an emotional one. The leader was upset with Vice President Rahul Gandhi for refusing him a Rajya Sabha ticket. Though Congress President Sonia Gandhi had promised him the same, Rahul had later denied it.
Over the months, Krishna has also felt sidelined when it came to the party accepting his views on important political developments.
Local media also reported that Krishna had written to Sonia Gandhi several times in 2015 and 2016, offering the party his assessment on the deteriorating state of the Congress party in Karnataka.
Media reports state that Krishna had made it clear to the party high command that Congress was not vibrant any more in Karnataka and that the Siddaramaiah government was seen as anti-people. He had asked the party leaders to rectify the deteriorating situation in the only big state ruled by the party.