Amit Shah calls Yeddyurappa, quit gracefully to set big game in the state
New Delhi: “Exit gracefully for the big picture” was Bharatiya Janata Party’s Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s message to BS Yeddyurappa when it became clear that the numbers were not in the party’s favour.
As the drama unfolding in Karntaka since election results were announced on Tuesday came to an end, sources said it was a phone cal from BJP’s headquarters in Delhi that led to Yeddyurappa’s emotional exit before the floor test.
Even as top BJP leaders were camped in Delhi, Shah is believed to have told Yeddyurappa to recreate an Atal Behari Vaypayee moment.
While the BJP put on a confident front since the Supreme Court advanced the floor test to 4 pm on Saturday, the air in the BJP headquarters in Delhi was rife with tension, especially on Saturday morning.
“The opposite side was equally determined. In such circumstances, it was better that a step back be taken in lieu of larger gains in 2019. Sympathy that the move earned us had been the biggest gain of the day. In politics, it is also important to know when the game is over,” leaders say.
Yeddyurappa’s speech clearly outlined the BJP’s plans, they add.
What became especially clear to the BJP in the entire ordeal was the strength of their rivals, in particular of south Indian parties, who are believed to have played a crucial behind-the-scenes role in the events.
What hinged on Saturday’s developments were the future plans of regional parties——TDP, TRS, TMC, SP and BJD among others—and the chances of a “federal or a secular front”, still its nascent stages, for the 2019 elections.
For Shah, who’s working on BJP’s drawing board for 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the developments have led to his considering an “us versus them battle”, especially given that BJP gains when opposition’s votes are divided.
With major assembly elections coming up this year—Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh—before the 2019 general elections, the BJP expects the opposition to use a similar formula.