Yediyurappa-Kumaraswamy meeting sparks merger speculations in Karnataka

South India
Typography

The meeting has assumed significance as it has come at a time when political circles are abuzz with talk of a “top to bottom” revamp by the central BJP leadership in Karnataka.

A close-door meeting between arch-rivals Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa and former CM and Janata Dal (S) leader HD Kumaraswami has thickened speculations about a political realignment in the state.

The meeting is considered significant in the light of rumours doing rounds in political circles for some time now about a possible merger between the JD (S) and the Bharatiya Janata Party. The meeting took place at the home office of the CM at Bengaluru for around 20 minutes, according to a report in Times of India.

Kumaraswamy said after the meeting that it was intended to discuss the havoc created by heavy rains in Darshanahalli, a constituency represented by one of his party MLAs. However, political observers have taken this with a pinch of salt as they feel that a personal meeting was not required to discuss such a minor issue.

The meeting, however, has assumed significance as it has come at a time when political circles are abuzz with talk of a “top to bottom” revamp by the central BJP leadership in Karnataka in December after the Bihar polls, according to the TOI report.

Murmurs have been going on for a while about a possible JDS-BJP merger as well. Sources said the BJP brass has already sent feelers to a top JD(S) functionary. The proposal is part of the party’s larger plan to consolidate votes from the two dominant communities — Lingayats and Vokkaligas, the report added.

As of now, majority Lingayats are with BJP while JD(S) has been the favourite of Vokkaligas. BJP has been trying to make inroads into the Vokkaliga-dominated Old Mysuru region and has met with little success so far.

On the other hand, sources said the BJP high command is unhappy with Yediyurappa’s style of functioning, especially on the response to the Covid crisis, and is mulling a leadership change to improve the party's prospects in Karnataka.

BJP ministers CN Ashwath Narayan and CT Ravi dismissed such reports and said Yediyurappa will complete his tenure. “No talks are being held in the party on change of leadership in Karnataka. Opposition leaders and MLAs meeting the CM is a common thing and today’s meeting was one such. No one one should attach political importance to it,” Narayan was quoted by TOI as saying.

Image Credit: Indian Express

All Comments