16 January, 2021

Cold Coffee, Reheated

CM Yediyurappa says COVID-19 is his priority now
Photogrph by PTI
Cold Coffee, Reheated

After a COVID-induced lull over the past two months, Karnataka’s familiar political chorus was back, posing a stock question. Is dissidence brewing in the ruling BJP?  Setting it off was a group of party legislators meeting for lunch at the house of fellow MLA Umesh Katti. Of course, there’s been little—by way of any postprandial development—to warrant concern. But, the event did fuel speculation.

For the record, that sort of speculation isn’t new in Karnataka—back in February it was an anonymous letter railing against chief minister B.S. Yediyurappa that did the rounds briefly getting some media attention before fizzling out. Even BJP functionaries allow for a certain amount of restlessness among some party leaders given the circumstances of how the government was formed last August with the help of those who defected from rival parties—most of these newcomers won bypolls and got ministries, leaving the older members aggrieved.

Katti, an eight-time MLA from Belgaum who didn’t make it to the cabinet, has dismissed...



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