With the finalization of tickets for most of the 28 Loksabha constituencies in Karnataka, the next round of discussions in every party is who got the ticket and who missed the ticket and what will be the disappointed candidate do?… Will he sulk and withdraw from campaign? or Will he rebel and actively support an opposition candidate? or will he himself stand as a rebel candidate?.
This problem is not unique to one political party and every party including BJP is facing this problem. Starting with Bangalore South constituency where Mr Tejsasvi Surya got the ticket ahead of Tejaswini Ananthakumar, it is reported that many other candidates some of them close to Mr Yeddyurappa have been denied tickets and are unhappy.
There is no doubt that candidates who for the last few weeks hoped to contest and were denied tickets would be disappointed. Since there is only one candidate who can stand for a party and there could be many claimants, disappointment to all the rejected candidates is natural and they need to spend some quiet time to get over the disappointment.
But the candidates should remember one thing. This election is not to show case whether Mr Yeddyurappa is a stronger or Eshwarappa is stronger or some body else. This election is purely whether Mr Modi has to be back as PM or Mr Rahul or Mr Chandrababu Naidu or Mamta Bannerjee or Akhilesh Yadav or Mayavati or some body else like Omar Abdulla should be the PM of India.
Unless every voter and every candidate and every party worker of BJP accepts this, there is no hope of the disssidence being suppressed or removed.
We must accept that Karnataka BJP has lacked cohesive leadership for quite some time and this has been the reason for it enabling a 37 member party becoming the ruling party in Karnataka. Had there been less dissidence, BJP would have garnered a comfortable majority in the last state election and prevented the JDS coming to power with the help of Congress.
Even before the elections, there was an opportunity for Mr Yeddyurappa to have retreated from CM’s post as a statesman and allowed some new face to be projected. he did not do so and perhaps there was reason for this since Mr Eshwarappa and R Ashok would have jumped in with their own claims. However, after failing to get the majority, there was another opportunity for Mr Yeddyurappa to assume an ideal position and retreat from CM claim and it would have given him a higher moral authority in the party than what he now enjoys. There is no doubt that he still enjoys majority support of BJP MLAs and perhaps even the workers. But it is only a strong leader who can sacrifice if such sacrifice could lead to betterment of all. Mr Yeddyurappa has not yet seem to have realized this and is still unhappy that he is not the CM of Karnataka and his recommended candidates are not being given tickets.
As regards Bangalore South, there was no logic for him to suggest only the name of Tejaswini Ananthakumar and not recommend a second choice. This was an attempt to restrict the choice of the party. Unfortunately the party has called the bluff and gone ahead with the choice of Mr Tejasvi which has its own benefits.
Just imagine how the common worker in the party would be enthused when a sincere party worker is recognized at an early age and given a ticket for this important constituency.
This is not to say that Tejaswini could not be a deserving candidate. It could have been. However Tejasvi can spend more time and energy in Delhi than Tejaswini who can still be an influential party member in the Karnataka circles. Who knows, since all leaders including Ashok, Somanna, and Yeddyurappa seem to be her supporters, she could be the next CM candidate in Karnataka or atleast an effective MLA.
I therefore urge all BJP workers to forget their disappointments in candidate selection and support the official candidate so that the tally of MPs in total increases.
They should learn from Kumaraswamy and D K Shivakumar who fancy themselves as “Pair of Bullocks” when in the past they were like the proverbial “Snake and the Mongoose”. We should appreciate that they are able to forget the past though it is for self preservation.
The same self preservation instinct should be there for BJP workers also because divided they will strengthen the Devegowda-Siddaramaiah combine.
If the local BJP leaders of Karnataka donot realize their responsibilities, the voters will still vote for Modi and throw the local leaders out into the oblivion. If in the process, BJP has to lose some seats,so be it. The party discipline is more important than one or two seats which hinges on support of selfish leaders and their followers.
I therefore urge people like Tejaswini Ananthakumar to come out and take the lead in supporting Tejasvi Surya and thereby show maturity and leadership qualities that many of the older leaders lack.