Mangalore, July 9: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders in Dakshina Kannada, the home district of Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda, have remained silent spectators to the development within the party leading to the replacement of Mr. Gowda with Jagadish Shettar as the Chief Minister.
The BJP bastion of the coastal belt, has elected four MLAs to the Assembly in the last election and had laid the foundation for the growth of the party elsewhere.
Mr. Gowda was the second politician from Dakshina Kannada to become the Chief Minister after M. Veerappa Moily of the Congress, and both had a very short stint at the office.
Interestingly, the four MLAs and an MP elected on the BJP ticket have distanced themselves from issuing any public statement or openly identifying with the groups within the BJP.
While some leaders in the district unit gave mixed reactions, some others said that it was not right to seek the resignation of Mr. Gowda. Mr. Gowda had been replaced when the party was recovering from the damage it had suffered because of scams and controversies in the first three years.
Mr. Gowda had implemented Sakala scheme for the benefit of the people, they said. Some said that Mr. Gowda being the Chief Minister had not made any difference to the party or district.
A leader said that B.S. Yeddyurappa had sanctioned Rs. 200 crore particularly for the development works in the city during his tenure. Mr. Yeddyurappa was responding to the party workers demand without any bias, he said.
Spokesperson of the district unit of the party K. Monappa Bhandary said that the party had taken the decision after consultations. Reacting to the development Padmanabh Kottary, the president of the district unit of the party, said the district would have benefited immensely had Mr. Gowda continued as the Chief Minister.
“But as a good party worker he has quit the office,” Mr. Kottary added. Meanwhile, Yogish Bhat, MLA and the deputy speaker of the Assembly, said that the MLAs from the district had tried their best to ensure a longer run for Mr. Gowda. “He (Mr. Gowda) has contributed a lot to the development of the district and the State,” he added.
Interestingly, Opposition parties in the district – JDS and Congress – have used the opportunity to mount attack on the BJP MLAs of the district for not doing enough to back Mr. Gowda. “The local BJP leaders who benefited from Mr. Gowda’s tenure did not stand behind him,” said Congress MLA Abhayachandra Jain. “As a sensible chief minister, Mr. Gowda has done good to the State,” he added. The district unit vice-president of JD(S), Mohammed Shafi, also regretted the unceremonial exit of Mr. Gowda. “Caste politics is thriving in the BJP. Gowda is the victim of this politics,” he said.