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Anything can happen over tears

Deepa Balakrishnan deepab18

Updated: October 5, 2012, 6:17 PM IST
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Above all, it's Bhookanakere Siddalingappa Yeddyurappa's ability to cry that's got most politicians worried.

He's done it before, and they all know he can do it again.

Five years back, before the 2008 elections, he rode his party to victory primarily on a sympathy wave. He (and his party, but that's not important) had been "betrayed" by the JDS which had promised to make him chief minister and then went back on its promise. He went to the people with tears, played the part of a wronged man, and they responded with votes. Even in the Bangalore region, where the Congress and JDS had earlier held sway.

A few months after becoming CM, Yeddy shed copious tears when the Reddy brothers told him to drop his favourite minister Shobha Karandlaje from the Cabinet - in fact, he was crying on TV while talking about the conditions set by the Reddys for him to continue in the chief minister's post.

About eight months back, just before his birthday, when he called his party MLAs for a lunch session on his lawn, he apparently cried while telling his comrades in saffron about being side-lined by the party he had built.

As the mother of a 2-year-old, even the thought of having a crying child in my arms makes me cringe... In a public place, if your son's throwing a tantrum, crying and kicking, and you try to ignore it so he's more disciplined; you're the monster mom who doesn't care, selfish in your shopping. If you're at home and there are 'elders' who see you helpless at not being able to pacify your child, you're the inefficient modern woman who can't handle a simple child's simple crying. If you're seeing him off to school and he starts bawling, you're the unmindful career-woman who wants to get her baby off her hands before heading to catch the 8.21.

Sometimes, I can imagine the BJP cringe in the same way. In a public meeting, if BSY is to cry, they know he'll paint the party as the bleak unworthy organisation that couldn't stand by its "world's greatest Lingayat."

If he cries at party meetings, his loyalists will ensure word still gets around that the man was reduced to tears after humiliation from the party... the 'inefficient-modern-woman' party that couldn't address the simple problem of making him the state president.

But the worst would be if he cries at being dropped from the party...

Not sure how many of you have noticed this - every press conference and speech of Yeddyurappa's for the last four/ five months have started with "The party I've built over 40 years..."He never fails to remind the people of the four decades of loyalty.. and how he has been used-and-thrown.

Which is perhaps why Yeddy and his party are in a you-blink-first game right now. The party wants him to quit. He wants the BJP to throw him out. The party knows that's the best way for its government to commit, as Kannadigas say, 'self-suicide.'

For, BSY is certain to go crying to the voters once again, of being stabbed in the back by the party that he nurtured for four decades (and not the other way around, please!).

The BJP on the other hand is waiting for him to quit on his own... then take over the crying game itself, go to the people in the next election as being betrayed by a man whom they took to great heights, who they made chief minister... tell them here's a man they supported to the maximum possible given the charges against him, but now have to face his rebellion... be known as the party that would face rebellion but won't be identified with tainted faces.

At one of his many public meetings, Yeddyurappa vowed to never cry again... but we all know what politicians' promises are, specially when they're written in tears.

Sometimes his ability with his tears has the Congress and the JDS worried too. If Yeddy is thrown out of the party, he'd doubtless start his own party... and if he gets even 20 seats, he'd be a king-maker in a hung assembly... and any party that'd have to take his support better be worried.

One question for the voter though... do you really want a cry-baby leader?
First Published: October 5, 2012, 6:17 PM IST

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