BJP’s Central leadership picked Bommai as CM to checkmate BSY son’s ambitions: Sandeep Shastri

Bengaluru : Political analyst and renowned psephologist Sandeep Shastri on Wednesday said Basavaraj Bommai, contrary to the popular perception, has been picked by the party leadership of the BJP, not by BS Yediyurappa and his selection as the new chief minister is to checkmate ambitions of BY Vijayendra, son of the outgoing chief minister.
“A few things I would like to make clear. Many people are saying that Yediyurappa has picked Bommai as the new chief minister, but I would like to put it this way that Bommai was handpicked by BJP’s central leadership with the approval of Yediyurappa. Bommai has the goodwill and trust of the central leadership,” he told UNI in a telephonic interview.
“There are a few reasons why Bommai has been chosen as the chief minister is to placate the raw emotions of the Linagayat community and its seers. I also feel that it is a step taken by the central party leadership to checkmate the ambitions of Vijayendra, son of Yediyurappa. Already, Bommai has made a statement that he has been given free hand to govern and run an authentic administration,” Shastri said.
Vijayendra has been accused of interfering in the administration by several BJP leaders, especially senior BJP leader and former union minister Basanagouda Patil Yatnal. His administrative interferences were the main reasons for growing disgruntlement against Yediyurappa’s leadership within the party.
He has also been accused of moving files after receiving kickbacks. MLC H Vishwanath of BJP said, “The files are being cleared after receiving kickbacks, This is the system of Vijayendra. Ten per cent kickbacks were received out of a tender worth more than Rs 20,000 crore. Is this government pro-contractors? This is a people’s government,” he said.
Vishwanath is one of the 16 leaders who had deserted the JDS and Congress to form the Yediyurappa government.
The stamp of the central leadership will also be seen in the formation of the new council of ministers, he said. “The central leadership will also put their stamp of authority while ticking of the ministers they would like to induct,” he said.
Unlike in the past, Yediyurappa did not have a say in running the government and a set of deputy chief ministers in his cabinet were not his choice, Shastri said. “Yediyurappa assigned portfolios based on the directions of the party leadership. At different points of time, he sacrificed his personal wishes and obeyed the directions of the central leadership of the party,” he said.
However, the central leadership will assuage the feelings of other communities, especially Vokkaliga community by nominating deputy chief ministers in the new council of ministers to be formed.
Many names of Vokkaligas leaders, including R Ashoka, CT Ravi and CN Ashwath Narayan’s names were propped up for occupying the coveted seats. “I think the central leadership will assuage the feelings of other communities by inducting their leaders by giving them good positions in the party or in the cabinet. The central leaders could also placate the feelings of Vokkaliga communities by making their leaders deputy chief ministers. I do not know how many deputy chief ministers they would have this time,” he said.
BJP has relied on the support of a section of the Vokkaligas and it would wish to push hard to woo the community which is the fort of the JDS in the southern part of the state. All this year, the party has been getting support from Lingayats, OBCs and Dalits.
Giving another reason for Bommai’s induction as the chief minister, Shastri said it is his image of “AjataShatru ” as he has been groomed under tallest leaders cutting across party lines. “Bommai is acceptable to all political parties. This is because of his growth under the tutelage of Ramakrishna Hegde, Deve Gowda, JH Patel and his father SR Bommai, who was also union minister in the United Front government. Therefore, he has very good contacts with all political party leaders,” he said.
Also another reason for Bommai’s choice as the chief minister is to give further push to the party’s prospects in North Karnataka.
Asked about his capabilities as party organiser, Shastri said he would not like to make any early comments on it. However, the central leadership has seen him as a hard working leader and a good administrator in his capacity as Law and Parliamentary Affairs and Water Resources Ministers.
“It will be wrong to compare his organisational skills with Yediyurappa’s in building and strengthening the party. Yediyurappa is Yediyurappa. We have to wait and watch how he shapes up in the role of party organiser. However, he is a very hard working leader and a capable administrator in the eyes of the central party leadership, and this is yet another reason why he has been made the chief minister,” he stated.
However, it will be interesting to see how Bommai handles the unsolicited hiccups keeping in mind that Yediyurappa is out as the chief minister but not politically out.

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