Is SM Krishna looking for some ‘key’ positions in politics at this age?
Bengaluru, March 23: Close on the heels of Congress leader Somanahalli Mallaiah Krishna (SM Krishna) joining the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the grand old party said his ouster from the party was not a loss for them.
“He is a good administrator and he did good work in his regime, but him joining the Bharatiya Janata Party is not a loss for the Indian National Congress party. We lost a good leader, but we are not losing anything,” Congress leader NA Harris told news agency.
Criticizing SM Krishna’s decision, another Indian National Congress leader Meem Afzal said a person of his age should not expect all his wishes to be fulfilled.
“This is not surprising for us as he had decided this long before. He has spent so many years with the Indian National Congress and if he wants that the Congress guarantees him chief minister post at this age, then I think it is not necessary that all the wishes of a person get fulfilled in politics. Let’s see what post the Bharatiya Janata Party gives him,” Afzal told ANI.
SM Krishna yesterday joined the Bharatiya Janata Party and stated that he would like to rededicate himself to the cause of the nation under the saffron party’s banner.
The veteran leader, who had said the Indian National Congress did not need him, described the step as “a very important stop in my onward journey”.
The 84-year-old veteran leader had resigned from the Indian National Congress Party’s primary membership, miffed that the party’s state unit did not give him a key role or consulted him on key issues.
Mr Krishna, known as a trusted aide of Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi in their golden era, who served as Karnataka’s Chief Minister between 1999 and 2004, is credited with setting up Bengaluru as the nation’s Information Technology hub.
Later, he served as the Maharashtra Governor and even had a stint as the country’s external affairs minister during the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government. Later, he returned to Karnataka, hoping to play a role in state politics.
A day after he quit Indian National Congress, Mr Krishna said the party did not need mass leaders any more. “I felt for some time that Indian National Congress doesn’t need me, the party now depends on situation managers. They do not want time-tested leaders and workers,” he had said. But he had made it clear that he was not considering retirement.
Last month, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Karnataka chief BS Yeddyurappa had said Mr Krishna, who had decided to join the Bharatiya Janata Party, was unsure about the timing.
some of the rumours on the air that the former chief minister of Karnataka has decided to move out of the Indian National Congress, to protect the interests of his family in the light of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government targetting political rivals and their business interests in a wider attempt to stifle poll funding.
One of SM Krishna’s daughters is married to the owner of the ‘Coffee Day’ chain who also has interests in real estate and other sectors and another daughter is married to liquor baron Vijay Mallya’s step brother.
Since he announced his decision to quit the Indian national Congress, several top leaders of the Bharatiya Janata party in Karnataka have said they would welcome SM Krishna into the party fold with open arms.
There is talk that these open arms are the culmination of four months of behind the scene efforts. There is also talk of the suave former Maharashtra governor being offered a chance to be the president of India or the vice president when the posts fall vacant during the tenure of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) .
Whether the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which has sidelined its own veterans by making them ‘marga darshaks’ will be interested in giving out doles to other veterans is in doubt.
There is no doubt though that with SM Krishna, a leader of the dominant Vokkaliga community in south Karnataka, on its side, the thin Bhartiya Janata Paty leadership in south Karnataka will get some muscle.