Will Karnataka gets 'Santhosha'?
Bengaluru: Will BJP national general secretary (organization) B.L. Santhosh become the new Chief Minister of Karnataka?
Sources close to party central leadership have maintained that among six strong contenders for Chief Minister’s post, Santhosh's name came forefront soon after B.S.Yediyurappa resigns on Monday.
RSS full-time Pracharak, Engineering graduate, Mr. Santhsoh belongs to the Shivalli Brahmin community hails from Udupi district. Before he was appointed as BJP National general secretary (organization), he worked as a National joint secretary organization and in charge of the South Indian states for the party. He worked as a party organization secretary in Karnataka BJP for nearly ten years.
Excluding Santhosh, other contenders, Prahlad Joshi, Nalin Kumar Kateel, C.T. Ravi, Vishweshwara Hegde Kageri, Aravind Bellad, Murugesh Nirani’s names are doing rounds in the media as well as in party circle for CM post. In fact the party central leadership had also shortlisted these leaders name for the CM post.
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However considering present political situation prevails in the ruling BJP which is completely a divided house since one year, the party central leadership has well aware that it would not possible to set right BJP house in order for any one of the CM probable’s. Because all six contenders are very low-key profiles and not able to contain or nail dissident activities. They even cannot pacify rebel MLAs in the party. Mr. Santhosh has worked with Yediyurappa and other senior leaders of state BJP in party organization and oversees the Assembly and Lok Sabha elections. During absence of Yediyurappa who parted way from BJP and formed KJP in 2013, Mr. Santhosh was single-handedly prepared the party for 2013 Assemby elections and galvanize the party workers to prepare for crucial 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah knew that only Santhosh could take the grip over the administration and guide the BJP MLAs in the right way. His stint as State BJP organizing secretary since 2006 would help him to contain dissident activities and take all MLAs into confidence.
Moreover, BJP has to prepare for the 2023 Assembly elections, it has the challenge to provide clean administration for the next two years. Corruptions, nepotism and groupism in BJP have dented the image of the party both at state and National level. To make preparations for Assembly elections by providing clean and corruption-free administration, the party would send Mr. Santhosh to the state as the Chief Minister, sources said.
During party organizing secretary in State BJP, Mr. Santhosh has a complete grip over party organization. The majority of party district office bearers and caders were appointed by him.
BJP Parliamentary board will likely meet tomorrow to ratify the CM candidate name and the same will be ratified in the BJPLP meeting by Wednesday.
Read: BJP central leadership executes smooth exit of Yediyurappa
Caretaking Chief Minister B.S.Yediyurappa will propose Santhsoh name for CM post and anyone of senior BJP legislator will propose that name, sources added.
If BJP chooses Brahmin face, it has to do caste balance in the cabinet by creating four deputy chief ministers representing four major communities. Lingayat, Vokkaliga, SC and ST.
Sources added deputy Chief Minister Laxman Sawadi will be retained in the cabinet. However, other deputy chief ministers, Dr. Ashwathnarayana and Govinda Karjol, will be removed. Anointing ST strongmen, B. Sreeramalu as the deputy chief minister, cannot be ruled out.
Read: Karnataka: Yediyurappa resigns, to be caretaker CM
Interestingly Mr.Santhosh is in the fourth position in the party hierarchy after Narendra Modi, Amit Shah, J.P. Nadda. BJP leaders and insiders believes that Mr. Santhosh is in the third position after Modi and Shah. The party organizing secretary is the very powerful post in the organization. Will Santhosh leave such a powerful post at the centre is the big question before the party cadres. His supporters are delighted after hearing the news of he will become the Chief Minister, at the same time they expressed doubt about his relinquishment from the existing powerful post at Centre.
After he became party national organizing secretary, he effectively handles the crisis in UP, Uttar Khand BJP units. In the recent Union Cabinet reshuffle, Santhosh was behind in choosing young and talented turks into the Modi cabinet.
The arrival of Mr. Santhosh to Bengaluru on Monday afternoon has raised curiosity in State BJP.