The BJP high command has been saved by the bell of rahukala, with B.S. Yediyurappa relenting and walking to the Raj Bhavan to submit his resignation following his indictment by the Lok Ayukta in the illegal mining scam. For a party which wanted Yediyurappa to go before Parliament began its monsoon session, this is not a small gain.
However, events from the moment Yediyurappa was asked to step down have caused severe ruptures in the “party with a difference”, showing it to be merely a party with differences. On the one hand, there was the unseemly spectacle of the Yediyurappa camp defying the BJP bosses and playing hardball for three if not four days.
And, on the other hand, there is the very large, even if local, damage that Yediyurappa’s demands and conditions for vacating office has caused. There are now clearly two, if not three, camps within the party and it is clear that whoever the BJP legislature party elects on Wednesday, there is further trouble in store, later if not sooner.
Coming as all this does with the countdown to the 2013 assembly elections, the questions are obvious: has the BJP emerged stronger or weaker after this blood-letting? Have the troubles in the BJP ended with Yediyurappa’s resignation, or have they only just begun?
And, above all, after this show of strength of “70 MLAs”, will the “loyal and disciplined soldier of the sangh” fight the next election under the BJP symbol? Or will he bide his time, and form his own party (“Karnataka Janata Party”, as is rumoured) as the elections draw near? And will he taste success?