Camp politics kills governance in Karnataka - The Times of India BANGALORE: Death of governance - that sums up the state of affairs in the Karnataka government. The primary allegiance of MLAs and ministers is to themselves, then to their leader and party. People, did anybody say? How naive can one be? Within weeks of holding a global investors' meet where his job was to convince potential investors of the government's stability to approve the projects they signed on, the industries minister resigns just to pressure the BJP high command to change the chief minister. But then, Karnataka hasn't had a full cabinet of 34 ministers (the sanctioned strength) either under B S Yeddyurappa or D V Sadananda Gowda. Gowda is saddled with 21 portfolios which he promised he'll offload after Aashada month ends in mid-July. With Friday's wave of resignations, he is faced with 10 more portfolios. When Gowda took over the reins in August 2011, the assumption was he would bring in some order in the administration. But he has been functioning as leader of a vertically divided cabinet with ministers owing allegiance either to Yeddyurappa or to him. The cabinet lacks cohesion. The book release by Gowda on Thursday to mark completion of BJP's four years of governance is a striking example: only Gowda's supporters attended the event, and the Yeddyurappa camp was busy plotting his ouster. The handling of important issues such as appointment of Lokayukta or handling of the drought has been lackadaisical. When the CM was in a position to appoint the Lokayukta, he dilly-dallied; with the issue pending before the Supreme Court, the government has happily put off a decision. The deficit rainfall has raised alarms of the drought becoming severe. Unlike 2011 when only north Karnataka was affected, this year the southern parts are also facing deficit rainfall. JD(S) floor leader in the legislative council, M C Nanaiah, said: "The paralysis of BJP governance didn't start after Gowda took over. Its genesis is from Yeddyurappa's tenure, who projected himself as the unassailable leader of one community, took decisions which none could question and gave a free hand to his ministers to become corrupt. His priority was only on managing numbers to continue in the post.'' Yeddyurappa created a coterie of his ministers - Basavaraj Bommai, M P Renukacharya, Umesh Katti, Murugesh R Nirani, Shobha Karandlaje and V Somanna. In charge of key portfolios during the former CM's time, they were mainly preoccupied warding off the threat from former minister G Janardhana Reddy, who wanted to dislodge Yeddyurappa. The sum result, according to Nanaiah, was that the Yeddyurappa government, from 2008 onwards, indulged in massive debt raising which rose from Rs 67,000 crore to Rs 94,000 crore by the time he stepped down. "He dragged Karnataka into a debt trap with the borrowings being 25% of the state's GDP,'' he added. While Yeddyurappa and Gowda are driven by the lure to regain or hang on to the CM's gaddi and, hence, haven't focused on providing good governance, the BJP high command cannot escape from sharing blame for the mess that is Karnataka.The leadership has suffered from a paralysis of decision-making. It has failed to crack the whip on Yeddyurappa as he has orchestrated daily dissidence against the current dispensation. At the same time, it has not backed Gowda to the hilt to give him the confidence to take tough measures.