BSY tilting towards Congress?
Inside sources said the BJP leader had reached a secret understanding with the Congress, the rival party, in the state and was playing an instrumental hand to bring down the BJP government. BSY's followers might deny such a deal shaping up, but talks on the meeting between Congress leaders and a Karnataka state minister, known to be a key aide of BSY, held in New Delhi recently indicated that behind-the-veils understanding was indeed taking place. Close observers felt while BSY would try to bring down the BJP government and necessitate early polls, the Congress could accommodate him and his supporters.
Will he float a new party?
However, another theory suggested that BSY was not too keen to join the Congress for the latter, too, was ridden by factionalism. The local Congress leaders were also not entertaining the idea of BSY joining their party much. Emerging the CM via the Congress route might not be an easy formula for BSY, either. Another option for BSY would be to float a new party, just as YSR Jaganmohan Reddy had done in AP.
It may be mentioned here that BSY had even launched a political outfit in Haveri in central Karnataka by the name of Kannada Makkala Paksha earlier this year through Ashok Kheny, an entrepreneur. BSY could choose to play ally to the Congress in the polls. The Congress would also want a reliable partner to fulfill its ambition of capturing power in Karnataka. BSY loyalists presume such a situation would be beneficial more and were looking to see their leader come out with a clean image over the corruption slur.
BJP in a shambles: 2014 looks a distant dream
The BJP has been facing serious issues both within the party and the NDA alliance. The party struggled to convince many of its allies over backing a consensus candidate for the presidential polls. It's plan to minimise the gap with UPA ally like Trinamool Congress or Samajwadi Party in terms of the presidential candidate nomination did not click. Allies like JD(U) and Shiv Sena did not support the party's choice for the presidential poll, PA Sangma.
Then there has been a serious difference over the probable prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 elections. JD(U) chief and Bihar CM Nitish Kumar has expressed his strong reservations against the candidature of Gujarat CM Narendra Modi as the NDA's PM candidate. This issue has not been settled yet and will be a tough nut to crack for the senior NDA ally. Both Modi, who has a good RSS backing, and Kumar, who is a strong force in Bihar, are key for the BJP and the NDA and it has to be seen how the party tackles the alliance crisis. Nitish isn't a Sanjay Joshi for sure.
And of course, we have the endless power struggle within the party. The patriarch, LK Advani's disapproval of the party's way functioning recently, and the RSS's 'interference' in the party's functioning hasn't helped things. Party president Nitin Gadkari's second successive term was not liked by certain quarters. Modi might be the most popular face in the party but yet he has to go some distance to attain the magic that Vajpayee wielded.
One of the biggest drawbacks of the BJP is that it hasn't succeeded in extending its geographic reach and groom regional leaders into national faces. Its appeal on subjects like Ram Temple, anti-minorityism or anti-Pakistan has lost edge, particularly among the middle-classes and both the 2004 and 2009 elections have proved that the party urgently needs a broad base and a viable leadership at the helm. The serious flaws in the leadership have been proved by the national party's meek surrender to a regional power-monger BSY. Can the BJP lead an intact NDA and wrest power from a brittle UPA in 2014?