Bengaluru: Karnataka Legislative Council results throw major challenges to Chief Minister B.S. Bommai to establish his leadership within the party leaders, cadre and among masses. Sections in the Karnataka BJP believe that Bommai has failed to assert his leadership in the government, party and among the people.
In the recent Karnataka Legislative Council the ruling BJP won 12 out of 25 seats and the opposition Congress won 11, JD(S) one and an independent.
The BJP has doubled its tally from six to 12 in these 25 Karnataka Legislative Council seats on which polls were held, but shows that all is not well in the party after senior leader Mahantesh Kavatagimath lost in Belagavi, a region from where several state heavyweights belong.
A senior party functionary said that the BJP is expecting few more seats and is confident of winning Mysuru, Tumkur and Belagavi seats, but were defeated due to lack of coordination, mismanagement and disconnect between the chief minister and the local leaders.
Unimpressive performance in the MLC (Karnataka Legislative Council) polls have given ammunition to the rival camps, who have now started questioning Bommai’s leadership and said even after months of becoming a chief minister he failed to assert himself either in the government or party as leader.
Leaders in the Karnataka BJP blame Bommai for failing to establish himself as a leader in government and party. They say that is the biggest reason for the defeat of a couple of seats in the Legislative council polls.
“Trusting Bommai, central leadership has been given a huge responsibility to him to lead the BJP government in the state by replacing B.S. Yediyurappa and the results show he has failed to fit in the shoes of the former chief minister,” a senior party leader said.
A Karnataka BJP MLA said that there is nothing to cheer about the results except that the party won 12 seats but also lost many seats.
Another BJP Karnataka leader pointed out the lack of acceptance of Bommai as the Chief minister and his failure to take everyone together.
Even former Chief Minister Yediyurappa had raised concern over losing Belagavi. He had said that losing Belagavi despite having a number of MLAs, MPs and other senior leaders from the district is a matter of concern. He suggested that defeat must be discussed and the party must introspect to find out the reason behind the defeat.
A senior BJP functionary said that Mahantesh Kavatagimath’s defeat from Belagavi exposed existing differences in the party and it also shows that the leadership failed to manage it despite having its knowledge.
“We lost Belagavi, despite having many senior party leaders, including ministers in the state government from the district. Who is responsible for the defeat? Losing Belagavi sent a wrong message among cadres and people. If we had won Belagavi, it would have sent a positive message to everyone,” a senior functionary said.