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   So much has been happening in Karnataka politics... (February 17, 1986)

So much has been happening in Karnataka politics lately that a lot of people are confused. I will there fore conduct my usual Monday morning class and try and explain, through questions and answers, some of the developments.

Now then, class, who has been the main personality in last week’s developments in Karnataka? One at a time, please, yes, you.

You say Mr. Rajiv Gandhi… wrong. The whole country may be Rajiv’s India but Mr. Gandhi has got nothing to do with Karnataka. Any body else? Yes, you.

That is correct, it was Mr. Ramakrishna Hegde. And you are right when you say the situation developed because Mr. Hegde wanted to practise value-politics. Now then, we all know that Mr. Hegde resigned. But who can tell me why he resigned? You there at the back, have a try.

No, no, he certainly did not resign over Mr. Jack Anderson’s film. You are confusing Mr. Hegde’s resignation with Mr. Gadgil’s likely recognition….Anybody else? Well, since nobody knows, I will tell, it was over the contract for bottling of arrak. Next, who did Mr. Hegde send his letter of resignation to? Yes, you can tell us.

No, not to Victor Bannerji, though you are half right. It was to Mr. A. N. Bannerji, the governor. You must also all be knowing that Mr. Hegde sent another letter to Mr. Chandra Shekhar, his party’s President. Can anybody tell me when and how did Mr. Chandra Shekhar receive the letter? Not both of you at the same time, please, you first.

You are right when you say that Mr. Shekhar was on a padayatra when he received the letter and put it in his pocket, but you do not have to be so emphatic and say where else could Mr. Shekhar be but on a padayatra. Now then, you tell me what did Mr. Shekhar do with the letter?

That’s right, he put it in his pocket. No laughter at the back please. This is serious. Chief ministers do not resign every day in India. I now want you to tell me what was happening in Bangalore all this time. Yes?

Mr. Hegde was weeping all the time is fine, he is a very emotional politician. But there were other things happening also. Yes?

No, I don’t mean that. We all saw the photographs of an MLA sleeping on the floor in front of Mr. Hegde. These are incidental developments. What actually happened, and which I would like you to note, is the mass upsurge against Mr. Hegde’s resignation among the people of Karnataka. Or, at least, among the legislators of Karnataka…. Well, yes, you are more precise, among the Janata Party legislators in Karnataka. And what was Mr. Hegde’s reaction to this?

No, he did not just jump back and become chief minister again. If he did that, where is value-politics! He said no for two days and two dozen times, before he jumped back and became chief minister all over again. And who will conclude the story for me? Yes, you, you have not said a word all this time.

Very, very good. You have summed it up very well. Mr. Hegde is chief minister again and Mr. Chandra Shekhar has gone back to his padayatra.

 
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