Bengaluru Blast A Godsend Opportunity For BJP
That the politicians of all shades and hues are desperate to use any event—good or bad—to achieve their political and electoral ends is to state the obvious. And that too, if it is the time of elections, it is all the more essential for them to stoop to any low to score brownie points.
Take the instance of IED bomb blasts, 100 metres from “Jagannath Bhavan”, the state headquarters of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, in Malleshwaram area of Bangalore city on Wednesday. Both the Congress and the BJP are in competition-mode against each other to pillories one another. What triggered this nauseating tug-of-war is the comment made by Congress leader Shakeel Ahmed on his twitter that “………if it is a bomb blast outside BJP office, then surely it is going to help the ruling party to consolidate its votes….”
This evoked sharp and angry reactions from the BJP spokesperson, Shahnawaz Hussain, who went to sermonise that the political parties should refrain from using such ghastly incidents to achieve their political and electoral ends. He did not mince words when he condemned the Congress for politicising the crime.
Hussain accepted that his party leaders, including Deputy Chief Minister (Home), R Ashoka, tried to gain sympathy out of the blast. While its spokesperson S Prakash was busy giving bytes to TV channels saying that the “target of the terrorists was the top BJP leaders.” This was repeated by Ashoka who claimed that all top BJP leaders, including Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, state unit president Prahlad Joshi and himself were target of the terrorists.
The fact is otherwise. Ashoka was busy filing his nomination papers in Padmanabhanagar constituency in South Bangalore, some 10-km away from the blast site, whereas Shettar and Joshi were in Hubli, the home town of Chief Minister, 400 km from Bangalore.
GOWDA, A GOOD WICKET KEEPER!
Former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda is not known to have interest in sports, including cricket. But he is playing the role of a “wicket keeper” in state politics, especially at a time of ticket distribution for the May 5 state Assembly elections.
Gowda has been welcoming everyone in JD(S) fold, who has been denied ticket by his party.
Take for instance, A Krishnappa, a former Congress minister, who was an aspirant for ticket from his home constituency of Krishnarajapuram. But the Congress denied him ticket. Gowda and his son H D Kumaraswamy, both were in Krishnappa’s residence within half-an-hour of getting the news that he (Krishnappa) was denied ticket by Congress. Both admitted him to their party and fielded him from K R Puram.
Similarly, Vasanth Salian, another Congress veteran from Kaup constituency in Dakshina Kannada district was denied ticket by the Congress high command. He quit the party in a huff and joined JD (S). Gowda was there ready to take him into his fold and gave him ticket to contest against Congress candidate Vinaykumar Sorake.
When Congress high command denied ticket to H M Revanna, a former Congress minister and a Kuruba leader, Gowda and his son were at the doorsteps of Revanna to take him in JD (S). But Revanna politely refused to join JD (S) and announced that he Would remain in Congress, no matter whether the party gave him ticket or not. Indian cricket team could think of Gowda as its wicket keeper, but alas the former Prime Minister is good in coveting human beings and not cricket ball! (SAHK)
This, however, is not to suggest that the lives of other junior functionaries and policemen as well as that of the public is insignificant and of no value. But the point to buttress here is that it has not been decisively concluded by the investigating authorities that the target of the terrorists was indeed the BJP headquarters and top BJP leaders.
Indian Mujahideen (IM), one of the shades of LeT or Jehadi terrorist organisation is suspected to be behind Malleshwaram bomb blasts? Why will the IM target BJP leaders during the election period? Does IM want BJP to return to power by riding the sympathy wave? These questions may sound perverse but it is still valid.
Is there any co-incidence that it was on April 17, the same day in 2010, when the IM had triggered bomb blast near KSCA Chinnaswamy cricket stadium? The bombs went off but no casualty was reported, thankfully. Here, too, in Malleshwaram on Wednesday, a bomb went off, 16 persons, including 11 policemen, were injured but no casualty has been reported.
CONGRESS IN KARNATAKA
It looks like that the Congressmen in Karnataka are more bothered to devour each other instead of fighting their political opponents. Just a day before the last day for filing nomination papers, (Wednesday, April 17), workers had revolted against the state leadership against what they described as “bartering of party interests by selling party tickets.” Look at the scale of revolt. The Davanagere district Congress committee is vertically divided over the issue of giving ticket to Shyamanur Shivashankarappa and his S S Mallikarjun. Two former ministers belonging to backward castes—A Krishnappa (Golla) from K R Puram in Bangalore city and H M Revanna (Kuruba), from Magadi in Ramanagaram district – have resigned from the primary membership of the party after they were denied tickets. While Krishnappa joined JD(S) and has been given ticket to contest from Krishnarajapuram, Revanna, a die-hard supporter of Siddaramaiah, is planning to contest as independent.
Both have been loyal Congress leaders since decades. Similarly, workers in Koppal, Bagalkot, Chitradurga and Bangalore city are agitated over denial of tickets to loyalists. Hundreds of workers have planned to quit the party in Basavanagudi in protest against the denial of ticket to former Mayor K Chandrashekar.
In his place former minister B K Chandrashekar has been given ticket. In Mandya, rebel star Ambarish, has indeed, rebelled against the selection of Ravindra Srikantaiah as candidate. Ravindra Srikantaiah is a strong supporter of S M Krishna. In the event of Ambarish revolting or at least remaining silent, the fortunes of Congress in the entire Mandya district will go for a six.
It is ironical that Krishna does not seem to have had a say in seat selection. Both K Chandrashekar (Basavanagudi) and Ravindra Srikantaiah (Mandya) are supporters of Krishna and both have been denied ticket. It may be recalled that Krishna is the native of Maddur in Mandya district.
In Dakshina Kannada, workers are unhappy with the selection of Shakunthala Shetty, a former BJP MLA, for Puttur constituency. She joined the Congress about a fortnight ago. Workers were keen to see Lokeshwari Vinayachandra Gowda, a strong Vokkaliga leader, as candidate for Puttur, as Vokkaligas are pre-dominant in that constituency.
State Congress leaders when contacted refused to comment on the development. Their body language and their off-the-record briefings seem to indicate that they are happy as they and their supporters have been selected as candidates thus displaying the characteristic feature of the party being a condominium- a number of tenants owning a piece of place under one roof. (SAHK)
Police said that the objective of the terrorists could be just to terrorise and create panic in public. It is like cocking a snook at the state administration.
“Had the target of the terrorists been really the BJP leadership, they would have chosen another vantage point to trigger the blast. But the bomb has been placed on a stolen motorbike and placed next to the stationary police van. It means they wanted to convey a message to the police that they can operate right under their nose. So where does the question of political implication come?,” a top police officer explained.
Remember, that on April 17, 2010, too, bombs were placed behind IGP (wireless) office abutting Chinnaswamy stadium.
But expectedly, the BJP was quick to seize the advantage of the incident for its electoral ends. The BJP election machinery jumped into campaign-mode, first on twitter and later on the streets in different parts of the state. Tweeters started condemning the terrorists and the incident. They also “congratulated” the BJP leaders and workers for having “escaped from the jaws of death”!
By S A Hemantha Kumar from Bengaluru