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More Ex-CMs than you can shake a stick at

Posted by anandrr on November 21, 2007

mukhyamantri chandru yediyurappa

Ex-CM Yediyurappa and forever-CM Chandru. Photo stolen from The Hindu

I was going to write some more about my wondrous experiences getting a cell phone and flying around and such like, but events overtook me. In particular, our Chief Minister Yediyurappa has resigned within 8 days of assuming the post. Here’s the curious thing about Karnataka: unlike our neighbouring states that at any time have a steady state of 1 CM and 1 ex-CM who keep swapping titles every election every 5 years or so, my own glorious state has always had a procession of Chief Ministers. I’m barely 34, let’s assume I was dimly aware that we had a CM around the time I was 5, we have elections every 5 years, and yet here’s the list of CMs I know of: Devaraj Urs, Gundu Rao, Ramakrishna Hegde, Veerendra Patil, S Bangarappa, Veerappa Moily, Deve Gowda, S.M. Krishna, J H Patil, Dharam Singh, H D Kumaraswamy, and, of course, Yediyurappa. The running joke in Bangalore is that it’s more important to be an ex-CM than a CM. All people jockey to be an ex-CM. After all a CM is here today, gone tomorrow, an ex-CM lasts forever. And now Yediyurappa who rushed to become a CM seems to have quickly achieved his life’s dream of being an ex-CM.

In that way, Sunday the 11th was a great day for Karnataka. Not only did we get ourselves a new potential ex-CM, we also got ourselves a new potential ex-captain of the Indian cricket team. Anil Kumble was appointed captain of the Indian cricket team. I’m quite certain it’s not the captaincy he cares about as much as the ex-captaincy. Suddenly his post retirement options have vaulted from being a mere ex-spinner who gets to inaugurate the occasional bank branch to globe trotting expert commentator on ESPN.

Now here’s the really interesting thing: Karnataka has had this procession of CMs. But one thing has stayed constant: the guy who plays the corrupt snivelling CM in any movie that calls for one. That guy is so dialled in to playing a CM, his screen name is: Mukhyamantri Chandru, i.e. Chief Minister Chandru. See, as always it’s showbiz that gets it right. The rest of them might fight for ex-CM honours because that’s the only thing that’s permanent, but in show business, once a CM, always a CM.

At some point, I also want to talk about the absolutely horrible political antennae at display in this episode involving Yediyurappa and Kumaraswamy as well as the episode featuring Benazir Bhutto and Musharraf. In both cases, one party lured the other into his den with promises of power, and once in, both found themselves trapped with nowhere to go. You would think politicians would be smarter than that.

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