Nothing has been going their way even since the rebel BJP legislators decided to withdraw support to chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa in October last year. Not even the Supreme Court verdict has helped them emerge from the mess they have landed in after the coup attempt pioneered by JD(S) state president H.D. Kumaraswamy in October last year failed.
After a long wait in the political wilderness for the apex court verdict, these legislators felt they would be able to leave the past behind them by extending support to the BJP government once again. The governor’s decision not to meet them and also recommend President’s rule, seems to have queered the pitch for them once again. The ten MLAs — Balachandra Jarkiholi, Belur Gopalakrishna, Shivanagouda Naik, Y. Sampangi, S.K. Bellubbi, Anand Asnotikar, Dr Sarbhouma Bagali, G.N. Nanjundaswamy, Barmgouda H. Kage and M.V. Nagaraj — were no doubt the centre of attraction at the BJP legislative party meeting on Monday.
Throughout the day, they were seen moving around in a group, maybe to drive home the point that they were united as ever. They even sat at one place during the meeting. Considering the salvos fired by both sides after the legislators withdrew support to the BJP government, it was no easy task for them to interact with their old friends. According to a BJP insider, second rung leaders of the party had been directed to keep a watchful eye on these MLAs after it became known that a few JD(S) and Congress bigwigs are in touch with them soon after the governor recommended President’s rule. Questions have been raised on whether these MLAs have any chance of switching sides to facilitate the formation of an alternative government if the President gives her assent to the governor’s proposal to keep the Assembly in suspended animation? Any such move is sure to attract the provisions of the anti-defection law.
Probably realising this, the legislators do not seem to be keen on joining hands with the JD(S) or Congress. “Enough is enough, we have had enough trouble answering the queries of our voters for withdrawing support to Mr Yeddyurappa in 2010. We do not want to repeat the same mistake. We do not mind even facing elections if the situation arises,” said Mr Jarkiholi, while speaking to this newspaper, a view endorsed by Mr Sampangi. Asian Age