Can ‘fence-sitters’ from Coastal Karnataka play crucial role in state leadership change?

 Can ‘fence-sitters’ from Coastal Karnataka play crucial role in state leadership change?
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File photo of BJP rally in Mangaluru

Ananth B

Mangaluru, June 16, 2021: The ‘Change Yediyurappa campaign,’ has put the MLAs of Coastal districts belt in a fix. While they prefer to remain fence-sitters, they still want to ensure their future is not damaged by their stand.

The MLAs of the Coastal districts, most of who are with RSS background, are known for falling in line with the party’s decision without opposing. But the campaign to change Yediyurappa has left them confused. While they prefer to remain fence-sitters, some of the recent developments have brought some changes among the leaders here.

The MLAs of the Coastal belt, except a very few, are on good terms with Yediyurappa. BSY was instrumental in some of the MLAs getting party tickets.

The Dilemma:
Their dilemma is were clear. They do not want to identify with any faction and want to remain neutral. But this time the calculation is a bit different.

They are not just caught between the Chief Minister and the party president Nalin Kumar Kateel but also a new problem this time.

The MLAs here are not in much support of the anti-Yediyurappa campaign. But supporting him would not mean much to them here this time.

Yediyurappa has not inducted any of the MLAs, except Angara, into his cabinet. This has left many of them unhappy. In addition to this even if BSY is allowed to complete the full term, it could be his last term as CM and the party may not think of him again stating age and health factor.

So supporting Yediyurappa will not help even in this term nor in the next term.

Abstaining from meeting Arun Singh might only display these leaders are Pro Yediyurappa.

If the successor of BSY is from the other camp, such a stand could put these MLAs in soup as the new leader might snub these MLAs whenever he gets a chance.

Therefore some leaders, especially those who are very ambitious, are likely to meet Arun Singh. However, they may not display themselves as anti-Yediyurappa but are likely to display as pro-development and disciplined party.

“The Communal politics is not getting enough returns to BJP. The development is seeing a downward trend, especially after Covid. They now want a strong leader who will focus on development and help them win the next election,” a senior leader said.

Recent development:
While most of the MLAs have not openly shown their stand, the recent rumor in the party circle is about the meeting between three MLAs and an office-bearer.

It is said that they met after the visit of a senior party leader visited Udupi. They are said to have expressed their unhappiness against BSY. However, this news has reached the Chief Minister who expressed his displeasure.

The Coastal politics:
Party sources say many of the BJP MLAs here are not much happy with Nalin Kumar Kateel too. But they cannot oppose him as he is the party president and also a close aide of B L Santhosh.

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