“What Modi Is To India, Yeddyurappa Is To Karnataka” — Ramachandra Gowda
“There is a Modi wave throughout thr country including Karnataka but wave alone is not sufficient. We need to have a charismatic and dynamic leader who can galvanise the party cadre to encash that wave. This is possible only by Yeddyurappa,” said Ramchandra Gowda, senior Karnataka BJP leadre, in an exclusive chat with Special Correspondent S.A. Hemantha Kumar at Bengaluru. Excerpts:
Given the acrimonious exchange of words and unpleasant relationship, is it possible to see Yeddyurappa back in BJP?
■ Politics is an art of probable. Anything can happen. There is no such as permanent friends or enemies; what matters is permanent interests, depending upon who looks at it in what way. It is possible for both the party as well as Yeddyurappa to say, Let bygones be bygones. Let us start from a clean and fresh slate. I am an optimistic and my optimism is based on the well-meaning and bonafide intention of both the BJP as well as Yeddyurappa to achieve a common objective.
Why then the delay?
■ Timing is always important in politics. Doing right thing at the right time is very difficult. There is no such thing as delay, though from the journalists point of view, it might be so. Politics is not only arithmetic but it is also chemistry, which means chemical reaction, which takes some time to crystalise.
You said Yeddyurappa’s return is inevitable. Why? Is he so much indispensable?
■ Nobody is indispensable in this world. That is a philosophical stance. But practically speaking, it is not wise and just to leave Yeddyurappa where he is, because he has given his entire life to the RSS, Jana Sangh and BJP. Today he is hurt and has gone out. Is it not the moral responsibility of the mother to ask the son to return home? Can we say that the son is dispensable? There are certain emotional and sentimental issues which are beyond the realm of cold logic and reason. Can anybody deny the fact that Yeddyurappa continues to be the only mass leader cutting across all party lines? Can anybody deny the fact that his four-month old party polled 1o per cent of the popular votes?
You said Ananth Kumar’s words would decide the return or otherwise of Yeddyurappa into the party? Can you explain?
■ I said along with Ananth Kumar, the views of Eshwarappa and Prahlad Joshi also matters very much. That is because, the central leadership’s perception of Karnataka affairs is through the prism of Ananth Kumar. So, his words do matter very much. Joshi is the state president and Eshwarappa happens to be the great pal of Yeddyurappa who hails from the same district. But the efforts being made by D.V.Sadananda Gowda and Jagadish Shettar in bringing back Yeddyurappa to the party is laudable.
Then why do you say that the BJP must stop talking about Yeddyurappa’s return?
■ What is the point in talking day in and day out. We must take some concrete decision, to clear the ambiguity among the voters as well as the party cadre. We cannot afford to take a decision based on somebody’s individual calculations. As I said earlier, Modi’s wave and charishma need to be encashed, and it is possible only if there is a equally strong and charismatic leader, which, in this case, is only Yeddyurappa. The party cadre need to be galvanized, who can go all out to pull votes in Modi’s favour. In 1983 assembly elections, there was anti-Congress wave throughout Karnataka but the BJP could win only 18 seats, where we were strong, organizationally. The Janata Party won 83 seats. So, wave by itself will not fetch us votes. It needs to be pulled in our favour which is possible by strong leadership and equally strong and charged cadre.
There is a talk within the party that Yeddyurappa will be asked to return to the BJP, if the party fails to do well in the five state assembly elections? Your comment.
■ I am not aware of any such thinking. But I can say one thing. Other states elections are different and Karnataka is different. No matter what the intensity of Modi’s wave is, we still need a dynamic leader like Yeddyurappa to encash the wave in BJP’s favour. At the risk of repetition, let me say that wave by itself will not fetch us the votes sufficient to win the seats. At best, the wave may increase the percentage of votes marginally but will not fetch us enough so as to win the seats.