New Delhi: While the entire top leadership of the Bharatiya Janata Party is busy trying to secure a decent showing in the ongoing Assembly polls process in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Mizoram, Telangana and Rajasthan, a storm is brewing in its Karnataka state unit.
The BJP is seemingly heading towards a major collapse in its former southern bastion of Karnataka. And the downward spiral of the party is being fomented by the apathetic and indecisive attitude of the central leadership of the saffron unit.
Despondency and low morale amongst the Karnataka BJP legislators and leaders alike are on the high as the national leadership has been unable to make appointments to key positions for over six months.
Sources stated that BJP MLAs have expressed their frustration over not having elected a Leader of the Opposition in the state Assembly or the appointment of a party’s state unit president. The appointments to the two positions are considered crucial to take on the role of serious opposition and keep the ruling party in check.
Interestingly, the legislators aired these grievances at a meeting chaired by former Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa. Several of these legislators have also expressed that they will not be able to attend the winter session of the Karnataka assembly in Belagavi as they have had enough of being ridiculed by the Congress, sources said.
After the poll debacle in Karnataka, where the BJP, which had been in power, saw itself being reduced from 104 seats to 65, the party high command has played it hard to get with the state unit. It is said a final decision on both candidates is being delayed as the high command is extremely miffed with the Karnataka BJP and its leaders.
“However, this is also working towards diminishing the morale of the leaders and the common workers in the party who now do not have leaders to approach in these crucial posts whenever they need an intervention at the party level,” sources pointed out.
Interestingly, after the Karnataka Assembly polls victory, the Congress has been infused with new-found confidence and party chief Mallikarjun Kharge is trying hard to continue keeping the pressure on the BJP by attacking the saffron agenda aggressively. In fact, the leadership of the grand old party is also smelling a possible break in the saffron ranks due to ongoing turmoil and might attack its weak links to further hurt the BJP, sources said.
Karnataka elects 28 MPs to the lower house of the Parliament. Of these, the BJP had secured 25 seats with one seat secured by an NDA ally in the 2019 general elections and both Congress and BJP won Karnataka to gain seats in Lok Sabha in 2024 polls. With Prime Minister Narendra Modi set to seek a third term, the Congress hopes to put brakes on the 2024 campaign of BJP in Karnataka by winning the Assembly polls.
It will be critical for the BJP to get its house in order and ensure the appointment of leaders to the two top posts in the state unit as soon as possible. Any further delay will only lead to hurt morale that can reflect in an adverse tally of the saffron unit in next year’s Lok Sabha elections.