The Thursday's IT raid on VG Siddhartha, son-in-law of former Karnataka chief minister SM Krishna, who owns the India's largest coffee retail chain store - Cafe Coffee Day - must have come as a rude shock to Krishna, who recently shifted his allegiance to the BJP. Everyone is wondering aloud, how Krishna now being a 'senior' member of the BJP could not save his own son-in-law from the IT trap.
Perhaps, he could not have done anything. Although Krishna got a warm welcome in a grand manner into the Saffron fold - he joined the party in the presence of BJP national president Amit Shah - the same vibes did not last long. It was out there for everyone to see. Soon, Krishna was mostly conspicuous by his absence at most of the party meetings or programmes. He was seldom heard taking on the Congress government - except when the farmers in Cauvery basin were protesting against the delay in releasing water to the canals. Recently, when BJP master strategist Amit Shah was on a three-day visit to Bengaluru, Krishna was not to be seen, except after the customary greetings. The BJP leaders claimed that the former Congress leader was not well. Hence he did not attend the meeting.
But there is more to what lies before the eyes. Rumours were rife that the BJP was upset with Krishna after its poor show in the Nanjangud-Gundlupet by-election. The former Congress leader was hardly seen in the election campaign. Besides, the party was heavily banking on him, who is a native of Mandya, to give leverage to their Vokkaliga vote bank. But with the party's poor performance, the former Congress leader has been sidelined in the party. Besides, his ageing health too must have come as a blessing in disguise for the BJP leaders to ignore him. Political insiders say the IT raid on his son-in-law was a veiled effort to stop Krishna in his tracks.
In fact, former External Affairs Minister could have read the signals in the BJP, after his protege and Energy Minister DK Shivakumar was raided by the IT officials. Rumours were rife about DK Shivakumar joining his mentor to the BJP. The BJP leaders too had approached him, with the help of SM Krishna, reports had said. In the event of the deal allegedly failing to strike, it was speculated that Shivakumar was raided.
Reports said that one name that repeatedly cropped up during the IT raid on DK Shivakumar was Rajaneesh, who reportedly had a connection with Siddhartha. Unconfirmed reports said that Rajaneesh had worked for the Amalgamated Bean Coffee Trading Co, that runs the Cafe Coffee Day and he had been under the scanner since minister Shivakumar was raided. Reports said that even Rajaneesh was raided on Thursday.
Looking at these angles, joining BJP has proved to be a costly affair for the former Congress veteran. With no active role for himself - so far - in the party, is SM Krishna going South? Only time will say.