25 October, 2020

Bet It's Hegde

The party is over for the only JD government in the country

Bet It's Hegde
Three days after six MLAs, including three senior ministers, crossed over from the J.H. Patel government to the Ramakrishna Hegde camp, the longtime agnostic Karnataka chief minister was deep in prayer. State Janata Dal president B.L. Shankar who normally brushes aside dissent in the party as "intrinsic to the Janata culture", was livid. Former prime minister and the man in the eye of the storm, H.D. Deve Gowda, refused to comment. And senior ministers who earlier gave the party an optimistic chance of retaining 12 of the 16 Lok Sabha seats they won in '96 (of the total 28) are now reluctant to hazard a guess.

The decision of R.V. Deshpande, Patel's high-profile industries minister, and others to cross over to Hegde's so-called apolitical Rashtriya Navanirmana Vedike (RNV), couldn't have been timed better. With barely three weeks left before the state elects its MPs, the crisis has extinguished the party's confidence, already threatened by a rejuvenated Congress and the BJP alliance with Hegde's Lok Shakti.

A known Hegde supporter from northern...



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