Karnataka: Rebel MLAs’ entry to jolt power balance in the BJP

Anil Urs Bengaluru | Updated on July 26, 2019

The BJP may face some hurdles in Bengaluru, Belagavi, Ballari and Haveri districts in Karnataka if it invites rebel Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) MLAs to join it.

Rebel MLAs, especially Byrathi Basavaraj, ST Somashekar, Muniratna Naidu and K Gopalaiah are three-term MLAs and were corporators in the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike previously.

Now their inclusion is likely to affect the fortunes of BJP’s second-rung leaders such as R Ashoka, Arvind Limbavalli, Satish Reddy, CN Ashwath Narayana, Suresh Kumar and Ravi Subramanya.

Belagavi has the maximum number of MLAs after Bengaluru. The induction of Ramesh Jarkiholi and Mahesh Kumathalli could alter the power structure for they are prominent figures in the Scheduled Tribe (ST) community. The fortunes of many old warhorses — Umesh Katti, Lakshman Savadi, Prabhakar Kore and Union minister Suresh Angadi — could also swing either way. The disqualification of Ramesh Jarkiholi and Mahesh Kumathalli means their children may enter the fray in their stead.

Ballari is another district where community and caste plays a vital role.

Many Congress and BJP leaders here have a common thread and are prominent leaders of their respective communities. Sriramalu, who was once tipped to be the deputy chief minister, is a recognised ST leader who is likely to face some anxious moments with the entry of Congress leaders such as Anand Singh and B Nagendra. Also, Ramesh Jarkiholi’s relative — Y Devendrappa — recently won the Ballari Lok Sabha seat.

In Haveri, the inclusion of BC Patil is likely to see a clash between Patil and Basavaraj Bommai.

Published on July 26, 2019

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