02 August, 2021

The Mortal Krishna

The Nagappa kidnapping and Cauvery dispute show up the chief minister's abject fragility

C.R. Venkatesh
The Mortal Krishna
The Congress government in Karnataka seems to be going through a midlife crisis. And at the core of it is a most unlikely leader—the suave and tech-savvy chief minister, S.M. Krishna. The euphoria within the Congress about his effective, corruption-free governance is fast evaporating. His public image has taken a beating and political rivals, who till recently had no ammunition, have got him in their crosshairs. Today's Krishna looks a shadow of the politician he was only a few months back.

The CM himself cannot hold back his dejection. His frustration came out at a recent public function where he confessed, "I feel I have come down in public esteem. This is not because of what I did or did not do, but because public perception is dependent on the overall environment." According to a senior cabinet colleague, "The chief minister feels his government has failed to handle the Veerappan issue well. He's a sensitive person. The Nagappa kidnapping, he feels, has blotched his clean record."

Though it was his first confession in public, Krishna has shared his...

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