Real hero: top court; villain: Raj Bhavan
2 factors on BJP mind
New Delhi: BJP circles are seeing the midnight intervention by the Supreme Court as the turning point that snatched the game away from B.S. Yeddyurappa.
In hindsight, they also feel that the 15-day window gifted by governor Vajubhai Vala eventually turned out to be the long rope with which the Karnataka operation was hanged.
No BJP source would say so on record but DMK leader M.K. Stalin appeared to be voicing the opinion of many when he tweeted: "Democracy in Karnataka has been saved by the actions of the Supreme Court."
BJP sources claimed the central leadership advised Yeddyurappa to make an honourable exit when it became apparent that the numbers were not adding up. The leadership was also concerned after the Congress started releasing tapes that sought to sully the image of the BJP mascots.
Several leaders felt that Yeddyurappa failed because the Supreme Court order asking him to prove his majority on Saturday denied him the much-needed opportunity to reach out to Opposition members, tug at "their conscience" and marshal the extra numbers.
Some leaders feel the top court would not have intervened had the governor not granted 15 days to Yeddyurappa to prove his majority.
Many in the BJP now feel that the "friendly" governor's over-enthusiasm that appeared blatant and gave a pan-India issue to the Opposition played a big role in throwing the plans off the tracks.
A section of the party rued that former attorney-general Mukul Rohatgi failed to convince the court that at least a couple of days were needed to conduct the floor test.
The BJP also appeared to have underestimated the skills of the Congress and the JDS at keeping their flock together and not allowing an opportunity to the BJP managers to reach them.
Till Friday evening, the central leadership had been confident about the abilities of their managers on the ground in securing the numbers despite reports that they were finding it difficult to reach out directly to the Congress-JDS members.
"Till Friday evening, Yeddyurappaji had assured party president Amit Shah that he would indeed manage the numbers and win the trust vote," one leader said, adding that it was only on Saturday morning that the alarm bells were rung.
The insiders said Prime Minister Narendra Modi, along with Shah, came out to lead celebrations and describe the mandate as a "historic victory" on Tuesday, when the results were announced, only after getting an assurance from Yeddyurappa that the numbers could easily be managed.