Sushma Swaraj‘s somersault with a mid-air blackflip, on her relationship with the Reddy brothers of Bellary and her role in their political rise and growth, is a mindbending piece of acrobatics in a political theatre that now resembles a ragtag circus where the jokers and jesters have taken over the main show.
By blaming chief minister B.S. Yediyurappa and Arun Jaitley, Swaraj tests the political memory of those who have seen her riding piggyback on the mining brothers and their “family” associates, like B. Sriramulu, from the time of her election campaign against Sonia Gandhi in 1999 and providing benign protection to their antics subsequently.
Equally amazingly, Yediyurappa supports what Sushma Swaraj says!
Sushma Swaraj now expects the world to believe that she has had nothing to do with the Reddys, that she was actually opposed to their inclusion in the cabinet, etc. She claims she meets them and talks to them on only one day of the year, on Varamahalakshmi habba, and that all has happened has happened courtesy the “others” in the party.
Now that the BJP president Nitin Gadkari has put the onus on the rise of the Reddys to the collective leadership of the BJP at both the State and central levels, two questions arise. One, who was behind the political emergence of the Reddy brothers that has brought such shame to the State on the national canvas?
And two, just why this sudden confession from Sushma Swaraj?
Does the leader of the opposition—whose husband Swaraj Kaushal was appointed the counsel for the State when the heat first got on to the Reddys—have some foreknowledge of what is to come? Or has she been tipped off on “mentions” in the Lok Ayukta report that could put the pressure on her in a season of corruption?
Is this just oneupmanship in the BJP in the run-up to the 2014 elections, as part of which Sushma Swaraj has repeatedly felt the need to take on Jaitley’s mentor, Narendra Damodardas Modi? Or has the BJP, which needed the Reddys to put up candidates and buy up MLAs when there was a shortfall, and ferry them around when there is a crisis, run out of use for them?