Category Archives: Coalition Politics

Why BJP Karnataka has to be revived??

File Photo of BJP Karnataka Rally when everything was well. Can we bring this glory back??

Our fears have come true. What we never wanted to happen, has happened and we are eating the fruits of that episode. True supporters of the Bharatiya Janata Party never wanted anyone to leave BJP. Yes, I am speaking about B. S. Yedyurappa and his supporters leaving the party. It’s a well known fact that B. S. Yedyurappa along with many other leaders, be it B.B Shivappa, Jagadish Shettar, K.S Eshwarappa, or even Ananth Kumar, for that matter, built BJP in Karnataka brick by brick. This concerted effort by the united team had their first victory when BJP and Lok Shakti Party of Ramakrishna Hegde pocketed a majority of the Lok Sabha seats from Karnataka in the 1998 General Elections. But the alliance lost, could win only 10 seats owing to the anti-incumbency against the Patel Government and the Congress party emerged victorious in Karnataka. But again, an undeterred BJP team led by B. S. Yedyurappa(CM Candidate) and Ananth Kumar( State President) won 18 LS seats and emerged as single largest party in the state assembly by winning 79 seats and ally JDU winning 5 seats. What happened later is not our concern now, and I need not divulge more details about this as it’s a known fact that BJP lost nationally though it was the clear winner in Karnataka. BJP fell short of a majority in Karnataka, Congress and JD(S) formed a Govt. headed by Dharam Singh and Deve Gowda having the remote. 20 months later, the govt collapsed and Kumaraswamy became CM of Karnataka with BJP’s backing. But even this new found love didn’t last after 20 months as JDS went back on its promise to transfer BJP it’s right to rule for the remaining 20 months period. BJP again showed up a united fight against Congress and betrayer JDS and won 110 seats in 2008 Assembly Elections and subsequently formed Govt in the state with help of independents support.

What started as a Govt on ventilator support, consolidated it’s support by winning all the by-elections that followed, thus gaining a clear cut majority of it’s own. From 110 seats in the state assembly, it increased its tally to 122 seats( till 2011). In the 2009 General Elections, though BJP lost miserably in the national level, BJP again proved its a force to reckon with. It won 19 seats of the total 28 seats up for grabs. It made inroads into traditional Congress and JDS strongholds. though as in every political party, even BJP faced consequent dissidence in its Karnataka Unit. Instead of dealing the dissidence with an iron fist, the central leadership didn’t reign in the ones who were behind those dissidence.  B.S Yedyurappa was named in Illegal Mining report submitted by Lokayukta Justice Santhosh Hegde and it’s a well known fact that on whose behest Yedyurappa’s name was included in the report. Let’s not divulge into this. Notable point is, the Lokayukta report was leaked into the media well before it was submitted to the Government. Irony is, the so called accused in Illegal Mining, B. S. Yedyurappa was the one who banned Iron Ore export and did his best to stop Illegal mining in Karnataka and it’s a known fact which national leader stopped him from taking action against the defaulters. Yedyurappa had to put in his papers, but he made sure that he won’t be made to go without having his choice as CM. His choice, D. V. Sadananda Gowda, then MP Of Udupi-Chikkamagaluru LS was picked as the replacement for B. S Yedyurappa in a secret ballot within the BJP LP. Everything was going on well, but the crooks didn’t stop there itself. they started to poison the ears of D. V. Sadananda Gowda and he revolted against his mentor, B. S Yedyurappa. DV Sadanada Gowda resigned from his MP seat to continue as CM despite stiff opposition from Yedyurappa. Their relation reached an all time low. Later Yedyurappa got what he wishe dfor. The Hon. High Court Of Karnataka at Bangalore struck down sections of Santhosh Hegde’s Illegal Mining Report that had named Yedyurappa as an accused and termed that this report was fit to be thrown in a dustbin. But certain BJP leaders dint even acknowledge the fact that Yedyurappa was given a clean chit in Illegal Mining scam. Instead of welcoming the development, the CM, DV Sadananda Gowda mocked at BSY and said there were still cases pending against Yedyurappa and he can’t be reinstated, which further soared their friendly relationship.

This further irked BS Yedyurappa and he did not campaign for BJP in the subsequent LS By election sheld to th elone vacant Udupi-Chikkamagaluru LS and BJP lost it miserably. It should be noted that the seat was till recently held by Sri D.V Sadananda Gowda, who was now ruling the state. My analysis on why BJP lost the bypoll can be found here. Please click on the link .

But BJP never learnt it lessons. It went on snubbing BS Yedyurappa. During Elections to the Legislative Council from Teacher’s and Graduates Constituency, Yedyurappa openly threatened party leaders that all six candidates would lose. But he was approached by his well wishers in the party and he campaigned for all the six candidates and BJP won 5 out of the six seats.

Later, due to growing differences between Sadananda Gowda and Yedyurappa, he ensured Mr. Gowda be replaced by his one time bete-noire Jagadish Shettar.

Later, due to the indifferent attitude of BJP state leaders especially, Ananth Kumar, DV Sadananda Gowda and Eswarappa against him, BS Yedyurappa left BJP, the party that he had nurtured all along his 40 year political life.

Elections to the state assembly were held, BJP, INC, JDS, and Yedyurappa’s KJP fought elections and Congress went on to get a clear cut majority of its own, winning 122 seats, BJP and JDS cornering 40 seats each and new born KJP could win only 6 seats, but pocketed nearly 10% vote share.

Later. it was widely evident that both BJP and BS Yedyurappa had learnt their lessons. Efforts were made from both the sides to realign. But their ego didnt let that happen. Yedyurappa’s supporters in BJP, led by his friend turned foe, DV Sadananda Gowda pushed for his re entry into the party.

Later in the month of August, both BJP and KJP, after learning their past mistakes enetered into a pre-poll alliance to contest bypolls to the vacant LS seats(supported JDS) and the three Legislative Council seats (BJP contested 2 and KJP 1, JDS supported them in all the 3 seats). But, the grand alliance lost miserably. So, the people’s verdict(karyakartha’s verdict in case of Upper House seats), was clear. They wanted a merger between BJP and KJP and not a name sake alliance.

Though efforts are being made to get BSY back into the party fold, there are people within the BJP who are trying their best to stop his entry into the party. The party needs to decide on this quickly, they can’t let the confusion prevail, as party has suffered enough. Karyakartha’s are left confused, some of them have even deserted the party. The party needs to pull its socks and put its house in place before polls to the Lok Sabha are declared. Instead of waiting till BS Yedyurappa returns to the BJP, the BJP leadership in Karnataka reshuffeled it’s state unit, thus leaving no posts for BSY’s supporters when the come back. Because of these cheap tactics used by his detractors in the BJP, Yedyurappa has time and again, confirmed that he wouldn’t merge his KJP with BJP, but would keep it’s individual identity and support NDA-BJP, the sole reason for this being Narendra Modi’s projection as BJP’s PM Candidate. But, what BJP and BS Yedyurappa have to understand is alliance won’t give the desired results, it was evident when the alliance lost all the 3 Legislative Council seats, previously held by them to Congress. Itseems, all the grass root level Karyakarthas, some elected to local bodies have deserted the saffron party and KJP to revive their political fortunes in the Congress. This can be attributed to the never ending confusion in BJP and KJP.

What I request BJP top leaderships is bring back BS Yedyurappa back to the party,  alliance won’t help, trust me. Set up a Revival Committee under his leadership. Let BJP’s ex ministers and MPs be the members of this committee. Appoint a legislator from each district as in-charge of these districts and let them report to the Revival Committee. Infuse confidence among the grassroots level workers. Show up an united face. Decentralize the powers, give more power to the district level leaders, because they are the ones who can revive BJP from grassroots. Let there be one incharge for every 5 Assembly constituencies. Hold rallies, meetings with the grassroot level workers. Reach out to the undecided voters. Tap the voters on ABCDEFG basis.

A:  Athantra(undecided)  Votes, explain to them why BJP and NaMo is what the country        needs.

B: BJP Votes, consolidate core vote base, bring back the confidence in them. Giv ethem more power, they can do wonders for the party. They are the ones who can take party to households.

C: Congress Votes, get the disgruntled congress votes to BJP. Explain to them why BJP would be the only answer and why they need to desert congress.

D: Dal Votes, get the disgruntled JDS votes to BJP. Explain to them why BJP would be the only answer and why they need to desert JDS. Explain to them, only in BJP does an ordinary karyakartha can rise to the highest ranks in the party.

E: Educated Elite Votes, get the educated to vote for BJP. Tell them how BJP would make this nation a better place, how Narendra Modi’s deceisve leadership can do wonders for India.

F: First Time Voters, India is a young nation. Youth form India’s strength,. Its important for us to tap the First time voters. Most of them are already MODIfied. High time BJP approaches this batch of voters and prove why BJP is the need of the hour.

G: Girl(Women) Votes, Impress upon the women folk why BJP is what India needs., how BJP can protect their interests.

This can be emulated from grass root to national level. The ground reality would be the same everywhere. The erstwhile Janata Parivar’s offshoots, be it Janata Dal United or Rashtriya Janata Dal in Bihar and Jharkhand, Rahtriya Lok Dal in Uttar Pradesh, Indian National Lok Dal votes in Haryana, or Biju Janata Dal votes in Orissa, tap the non-congress votes.

Karnataka cannot be neglected, remebmer it contributed 19 MPs to BJPs 2009 tally of 116.



Before I proceed, I would like to tell you that I’m from a rural area and so I have dared to write this. 
After reading India Today’s article “Killing Fields of Bihar Villages”, I felt I should write an article regarding the negative sides of the much hyped Panchayat Raj system. I feel the negative aspects outnumber the positives. I may be wrong, but still…
Though the system of Panchayats can be dated back to British era in India, the 73rd Amendment to the Indian constitution in 1992 made it a constitutional institution, thus the 3- Tier Panchayat Raj system was introduced. The 74th amendment introduced Urban Local Bodies and obviously, expectations were high. The 73rd Amendment contains provision for devolution of powers to the panchayats and responsibilities to the panchayats both for preparation of economic development plans and social justice, as well as for implementation in relation to 29 subjects listed in the 11th schedule of the Indian constitution.
The panchayats receive funds from3 sources,
• Local body grants, as recommended by Central Finance Commission
• Funds for implementation of centrally sponsored schemes. Ex: MGNREGA
• Funds released by the respective state governments as recommended by the State Finance Commission.
Panchayats have a reservation system enabling a certain ratio of reserved for SCs, STs and Women- which are regarded as the Weaker sections of the society. Yesteryear’s Panchayat system was only limited to solving local issues and disputes and was always headed by Powerful Men, or basically rich landlords.
Coming to the actual image of these Panchayat raj institutions, they are not living upto what was expected from them. If what it was supposed to do for India was done, our villages would have been self-sufficient, there wouldn’t have been migration to urban areas from rural areas and there would be no social problems. But what we get to see today is a totally bleak image. Villages are still the same. Water, sanitation, roads… nothing has improved much. Only the pocket size of these panchayat members has grown big.
Some of my observations regarding these panchayat institutions:
1. The system of reservation has given these institutions a major blow. Not that having all seats as General would be any different. When a seat is reserved, the usual contender of that seat goes for a candidate who acts according to his whims and fancies. In any rural setup, the labourers, usually belong to these reserved categories. In many cases, they are illiterate too. So when a seat is reserved, they are the ones who will be looked for. They are made to contest the seat. They become puppets at the hands of the rich. This can directly lead to massive misuse of funds. When so much is spent on developing our rural setup with these institutions, why are villages underdeveloped?????
2. Reservation for women in most cases, has not succeeded in empowering women but has empowered their husbands/brothers or their families. Most of the cases, they are easily manipulated and to sign bills, though works are not done.
3. There are people, politicians who have been demanding more powers to these panchayats. But from what we have seen in Bihar, I feel it is best not to give them more powers, especially financial powers. Instead of working to be an institution that can develop the village, build social ties, it has ended up in increasing enmity between people, the winners and the losers.
4. These Panchayat Raj institutions were setup in an effort to reduce the burden on state governments but what is the result?? They have ended up burdening the state governments. Many Gram Panchayats have not cleared their electricity bills, burdening the already overburdened, under loss ESCOMs (DISCOMs).
5. Political instabilities are a matter of concern. The term of a president of GP is 2.5 years and ZP is 20 months. But hardly have they got a chance to complete their term. Either they are removed by no confidence motions or under some understandings in the ruling party or the group, their term is divided so as to water down dissidence activities.
6. Most of these panchayat don’t meet regularly. Sometimes these meetings are cancelled at the last moment due to lack of quorum.
7. Gram Sabhas are not called regularly. Neither people are not taken into confidence before going ahead with any project concerning them nor are they consulted.
8. Schemes like MGNREGA have more drawbacks than advantages. In the name of employment, unnecessary infrastructure projects are taken, thus making the contractors richer. The projects are not built in a scientific manner. Thus undermining the very purpose they were built for, ends up burdening the government.
9. Also, MGNREGA has killed the backbone of Indian Economy in rural areas. There are hardly few who are interested to take up agriculture as they have seen the greener pasture on the other side of the river. There is labour shortage everywhere. There is no one to plough the fields, forcing farmers to grow for commercial crops which are an annual crop. Also, it is forcing people to migrate to cities in search of a living. Then where is Grama Swarajya that Mahatma Gandhi wished for?? After all, this scheme of rural employment has been named after him.
10. These panchayats, Gram Panchayat, Taluk Panchayats and Zilla Panchayats have become more of a Decorative institute. All the enthusiasm that is there when there are elections to these bodies evaporates once they get power.This habit is there everywhere, but is more in these institutions. There is no coordination between the three institutes of Panchayat Raj.
All these observations that I’ve made may not stand to be the same everywhere. I’ve just shared my opinions based on what I have seen and read.
I feel these Panchayat Raj institutions would be ideal if it was like this,
• Gram Panchayats and Taluk Panchayats must be abolished. A nodal officer, similar to that of a PDO ( Panchayat Development Officer) must be appointed at Hobli ( intermediate to Village and Block) level to monitor and implement the development projects and social schemes that are designed by the consortium of ZP, MLAs and MPs representing the district.
• Gram Panchayats should be replaced with Panchayat Development officers and knowledgeable locals should be given a chance to involve themselves with the PDOs by forming a Panchayat Samiti at village level to work and carry out development works. It should be an honorary service. It may seem to be practically impossible for some, but I don’t think so.
• Schemes like MGNREGA must be done away with and instead Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana must be strengthened. Similar Yojanas to strengthen rural sanitation and water supply projects must be adopted. MGNREGA just creates a VOTE BANK whereas schemes like PMGSY creates infrastructure. Fact!!!!

Please live your comments and point out where I’ve gone wrong.
Note: PDO means Panchayat Development Officer and was a post created by BJP Government of Karnataka when Kum. Shobha Karandlaje was the Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister. It was done with the due participation of experts from Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru. PDOs are like DCs of the villages, they replaced Gram Panchayat Secretaries. The PDOs are appointed based on an exam conducted by KPSC. This set in a new trend in Karnataka. Many graduates took up this exams and are now serving in rural areas.