Bengaluru, Dec 30 (IANS) Karnataka, regarded as one of the most progressive states in the country, is inching closer to a chaotic and heated political scenario in 2024.
The caste census issue has already divided society between minorities and the oppressed classes on one side and influential castes on the other.
The influential Lingayat and Vokkaliga communities are clearly positioned against the acceptance of the caste report, while the marginalised classes and minorities are vouching for the implementation of the report in total.
Massive public rallies are being organised by both camps, and there are all signs of a challenge to the law and order situation in the state.
The caste report allegedly pushed the population of Lingayats and Vokkaligas to the third and fourth positions respectively and the SC-ST population to the top and Muslims to the second position, sources said.
As religious leaders and top netas irrespective of the party they belong to, take a stand and support their castes in this regard, the situation in Karnataka is going to be volatile in the year ahead, political experts opine.
Meanwhile, top political leaders in Karnataka like former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda, former Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, and Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar are waiting to fulfil their political ambitions which also define their relevance in the state political scenario.
Deve Gowda is doing everything to save his party and ensure the prominence of his family members in the state. Following the desertion of a major chunk of the JD(S) leadership, Gowda’s party managed to get only 19 MLA seats out of a total of 224.
Amid comments on the survival of the JD(S) in Karnataka, Gowda had forged an alliance with the BJP, deviating from his secular image in a bid to secure a prominent position for his family.
Gowda’s son and former Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy’s statement on the presence of politicians like Ajit Pawar and Eknath Shinde in state politics has assumed importance in view of this.
Kumaraswamy was indicating a development similar to Maharashtra in Karnataka, where the BJP managed to bring down the coalition government with the help of Eknath Shinde’s rebellion.
Kumaraswamy had also stated that the Congress Government would collapse in another six months.
Sources claim that anything can happen after the Lok Sabha polls in the state.
Sources close to Deve Gowda say that with the BJP alliance, he has managed to bring his son Kumaraswamy into the limelight as there is no charismatic leader left in the state BJP after the exit of Yediyurappa from electoral politics.
Meanwhile, Yediyurappa was successful in getting his son BY Vijayendra, appointed as the BJP state President in Karnataka. BJP MLA Basanagouda Patil Yatnal had accused Yediyurappa of pursuing adjustment politics with the Congress for his own benefit.
Yatnal had also stated that Yediyurappa blackmailed the party high command, saying that he would not campaign for the Lok Sabha polls and got the post for his son in the bargain.
Sources close to Yediyurappa state that his focus now is to see Vijayendra emerging as the unquestionable leader of the Lingayat community and be in the running for the CM’s post if the BJP attains power in the state.
DK Shivakumar, disappointed after losing the CM’s post to Siddaramaiah, is doing everything possible to get to the seat of power for the 2.5-year term. Shivakumar is aiming to ensure victory in more than 15 seats in Karnataka out of the 28 Lok Sabha seats and pressurising the high command to make him the Chief Minister.
Shivakumar had stated that he was given two choices, either to join the BJP or go to jail, and he had chosen the latter. It remains to be seen how things shape up in the political scenario of the state in the coming year.