Biting the hand that fed him

Biting the hand that fed him

Submitted by alvin on Sat, 2017-02-04 19:49 S M Krishna is an overrated leader in Karnataka politics. No doubt Krishna is one of the better chief ministers Karnataka has seen, but he is neither a mass leader nor a strong administrator. Now, at the ripe age of 85 he has ended his long association with the Congress and is apparently knocking on the doors of the BJP. This only goes to prove that rather than being a statesman he is just another power-hungry politician who does not mind ditching the party which has given him almost all the positions of power a politician can aspire for. At a time when he is supposed to be spending the rest of his life in retirement from active politics, guiding younger leaders in his party, he seems to be nursing a grouse against the party at having been sidelined. This feeling of being sidelined emerges from a larger than life image that a leader has of himself. Krishna forgets the fact that he failed to get his party re-elected to power as chief minister. True, as president of the KPCC, he led the Congress to victory in 1999 but that victory was waiting to come. The Janata Dal had spoilt its image for the previous five years so much that the people of the state hardly had any choice but to elect the Congress. The BJP was not yet ready. Krishna’s image as a leader grew during those five years when he was the chief minister. But much of his appeal is confined only to the urban middle-class, which anyway has now thrown its weight behind Narendra Modi’s BJP. Krishna does not have a good and reliable support base even in his own district of Mandya. He lost as deputy chief minister from his home constituency of Maddur in 1994 and in 2004 he had to shift to the urban constituency of Chamarajpet in Bengaluru despite contesting as sitting chief minister. Krishna has always been a discontented leader except when he was the chief minister. He rebelled against legendary chief minister Devaraj Urs for reasons which were never convincing. Later, as deputy chief minister, he raised a banner of revolt against chief minister Veerappa Moily, a backward class leader. Krishna even refused to campaign for the Congress in the civic elections in Bengaluru, where he is supposed to have his largest support base. pollaroid-86 Rather than thinking as a statesman, which he and a sympathetic media think he is, his career trajectory suggests that he has never grown beyond narrow-minded games of politics. For some strange reason, the media in Karnataka always glorified him for his leadership qualities, which he never had. When he returned to Karnataka after his stint as external affairs minister under UPA-II, the media was full of speculations about how the high command had a larger role in mind for Krishna. In that role conjured up by the media, he would change the face of the Congress in Karnataka. Nothing of that sort happened. Krishna seems to have been misled by the image created by the media. If he analyses Karnataka politics, he would realise that by quitting the Congress to join the BJP at this stage of his political career, he would stand to lose more than the party would. Author: Alvin Mendonca (The views expressed are personal.) Also Read: Ex-Cong leader SM Krishna to join BJP: BS Yeddyurappa