proper exit

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 20 May 2018 09:47:58

WHAT Mr. B.S. Yeddyurappa achieved in Karnataka Legislative Assembly was what Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee had done when he resigned as Prime Minister in 1996 after a 13-day regime -- winning people’s hearts for himself and for his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). In his twenty-minute, extemporaneous and emotionally charged speech, Mr. Yeddyurappa proved every critic wrong. Dedicating his speech more or less to farmers whose welfare was the ultimate goal of his party, Mr. Yeddyurappa showed that all allegations of horse-trading were wrong; and that his party did not indulge in anything untoward. He said, in effect, that he had hoped to find supporters even among adversaries, but that did not happen. So “I am resigning. I am going to the Governor right now and resigning”, he stated in words whose simplicity and suddenness shocked the Congress and Janata Dal (S) members present in the House. So quickly did Mr. Yeddyurappa leave after he stopped his speech that the Opposition members felt non-plussed, so much so that they even forgot to stand still as the national anthem was played signalling the end of the session. They kept moving about the place, showing utter disrespect to the national anthem. 

Let alone the high and late-night drama that preceded Mr. Yeddyurappa’s swearing-in ceremony, let alone the subsequent allegations of horse-trading, the BJP conducted itself in the most dignified manner and proved that the critics were only making allegations that they could not support. It cannot be denied that the decision of the honourable Supreme Court added to the BJP’s discomfiture as the verdict reduced the 15-day margin to prove majority to just a few hours. Despite that, Mr. Yeddyurappa used the opportunity to the best benefit for himself and his party. From the coveted platform of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly, he launched his election campaign for the Lok Sabha elections just about a year later. He said, he would ‘gift’ Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi with all the 28 Lok Sabha seats in the next year’s election, and return to the legislature with 150 seats.

Though the moment had its own drama, Mr. Yeddyurappa’s words were simple and confident. Pointing to the travesty of the situation where the single largest party with 104 seats had to bow out, he said that the people in general knew for whom the mandate was delivered. So powerful was the message from the simple words that the whole House felt stunned, and weighed down by the burden of history taking a critical turn.

There is no doubt that the Congress and the Janata Dal (S) would celebrate this moment. But they also will know how difficult it will be for them to manage the show in a strange bed-fellowship. By doing all sorts of political acrobatics and by indulging in huge compromises in principles, the Congress party might have retained its hold on Karnataka, but it will soon realise that this so-called gain might not last long as a benefit-point for the great electoral battle in the near future. For, the upswing of popular mood favouring the BJP in Karnataka will weigh it down, as a junior partner in power with Mr. H.D. Kumaraswamy as the possible next Chief Minister, thanks mainly to Mr. Yeddyurappa who has just registered one of the biggest psychological wins of his long political career.