Political observers will be keenly watching the launch of former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa’s Karnataka Janata Party (KJP) in Haveri on Sunday.
After the BJP sacked minister BJ Puttaswamy and Tumkur MP Basavarau for identifying with Yeddyurappa, preparations for the KJP convention gained even more momentum, as if to give a fitting reply to the ruling party by displaying the might of the new party. Mood of the KJP workers reflected this attitude.
Ignoring the threat of the BJP, many elected representatives of the party were involved in the preparations of the Sunday’s convention. MPs G Shivanna and BY Raghavendra, and MLAs Nehru Olekar, BP Harish, H Halappa and Vishwanath, and MLCs Laxminarayan and Shivaraj Sajjanar and many others accompanied Yeddyurappa.
The Hubli-Dharwad region, Davanagere, Gadag, Harihar and neighbouring cities were dotted with banners and flags of the KJP.
Ticket aspirants’ efforts to get noticed were apparent, what with huge hoardings installed by them at crossings in Haveri.
Political pundits are saying that the KJP’s convention and its ramifications will give an idea about its political future. Also, what transpires here may decide the fate of the state government. The voters are following the event closely and are wary that the state may go to polls early.
Yeddyurappa is said to have chosen Haveri for his party’s convention because it is this region whose maximum elected representatives are backing him. He has support of five MLAs—including two ministers, CM Udasi and Basavaraj Bommai—an MP, an MLC, members of zilla panchayat and seven taluk panchayats of the region.
Moreover, Haveri is the neighbouring district of Shimoga. Haveri has been the gateway to North Karnataka and Malenadu Karnataka. When it comes to caste politics, Haveri district has 90% elected representatives from the dominant Lingayat community. It also accommodates minority communities in high number.
With scores of leaders coming to Haveri for the convention, all lodges and guest houses in the area were full. The city has only a dozen lodges, with about 250 rooms. Many leaders are staying in their friend’s houses. Those in government posts have taken shelter in the government’s guest houses. Many leaders are staying in Hubli, Ranibennur, Davanagere and Gadag.
Won’t join KJP, says Kageri
Primary and secondary education minister Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri, who was in Haveri on Saturday, asserted that he would remain in the BJP. Kannada and culture minister Govind Karjol said in Bagalkot that nobody had dared to invite him to join the KJP. Bagalkot MP PC Gaddigoudar and MLA Veeranna Charantimath too said they would not join the KJP convention in Haveri.