Kisan Sangharsh: Karnataka

   Posted by: aman   in Other

Day 228

Toll 337



We know the recent union cabinet reshuffle was really an exercise to pass on blame about extreme failure in governance on 12 ministers and accommodate new faces in preparation for state elections – especially Uttar Pradesh. Given how the PMO has appropriated all ministries for the last 7 years, it does not really matter who heads which ministry any longer.

The elevation of Shobha Karandlaje as Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare is an interesting development for Karnataka. Shobha is perceived to be an efficient minister and very close to Karnataka chief minister B. S. Yediyurappa.
Now, in Karnataka, Yediyurappa is a bone stuck in BJP’s throat. Without him, BJP can’t win elections in the state.

In 2012, he had resigned from BJP and started his own party Karnataka Janata Paksha. In the 2013 state elections, KJP won 8 of the 203 seats and secured about 10% of the total votes polled. It restricted the BJP to just 40 seats, compared to the 110 it had in the outgoing assembly.

Yediyurappa came back to the BJP before 2014 elections. He himself won his seat with a high mandate and then in 2018 state elections with him leading the party, it won 104 seats. Of course, it could not form the government but then it indulged in skulduggery and formed the government in July 2019.

Yediyurappa is 78 years old. According to BJP’s own mandate he should no longer be CM and be in the Marg Darshak Mandal. Yet, there is infighting in the state BJP over Yediyurappa’s push to promote his son and the Centre has not succeeded in getting Yediyurappa to resign.

That is where Shobha Karandlaje elevation comes in to soften Yediyurappa. Yediyurappa’s life long mission has been as messiah of farmers. By offering agriculture and farmer welfare, the Centre wants to convey to him that his life mission will be furthered. But with farmers protest, the Supreme Court suspending Farm Laws, the ministry is curtailed.

Given Karandlaje is from south India, the Hindi language issues, I do not see much point in her being able to negotiate with north Indian farmers. The government thus has a) under-utilised an otherwise efficient minister when there is a real dearth of efficient ministers at the Centre, b) tried to score brownie points with a mass leader important for their foray in south India.

In Panjab, for the last few weeks, some BJP leaders have been raising their voice in favour of farmers and against Centre draconian Farm Laws. Today, the BJP has suspended Anil Joshi, a senior leader from the state. Show us how the Centre has actually lost the plot.

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