Senior BJP Leaders In Karnataka Unhappy With Yeddyurappa’s Party Revamp

Image Credit: RAVEENDRAN/AFP/Getty Images
  • After assuming party chief’s post, Yeddyurappa reconfigured district BJP units and made fresh appointments

    These appointments were not welcomed by veteran BJP leaders, who accused him of bringing back his former KJP members into district BJP units

    The leaders have now decided to meet the man in charge of the party in Karnataka and National General Secretary, P Muralidhar Rao, to discuss the issue

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has the best chance of coming back to power and causing maximum damage to Congress in Karnataka. But, the saffron party is out to bleed itself to defeat with self-inflicted wounds even before the battle cry is raised.

Former Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa was recently made President of the BJP’s state unit. He is an old-hand of the party  and also its chief wrecker in the previous assembly election. After his comeback to the party, and after assuming the office of the President, Yeddyurappa has already started upsetting many party leaders.

Notwithstanding his promise to conduct a survey about six months before the assembly elections and gather public opinion about the candidates and their selection, very few would actually believe Yeddyurappa because of the manner in which he has recently revamped his party.

After assuming party chief’s post, the former Chief Minister reconfigured district BJP units and made fresh appointments. Since the BJP is a cadre-based party, these appointments are crucial. But as it turned out, these changes were not welcomed by many veteran BJP leaders, who have accused him of bringing back his former Karnataka Janata Paksha (KJP) members into district units.

Yeddyurappa was responsible for the formation of the first BJP government in South India. But then, he was forced to resign as Chief Minister in 2011 over graft charges, following which he quit the party to form the KJP. But he returned to the BJP ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

Last two years have been a dormant phase for him after getting elected as the Member of Parliament (MP) from Shivamogga; yet his appointment as Karnataka unit chief, coupled with Congress Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s troubled phase, has given him a new vigour.

Senior party leader KS Eshwarappa, who is Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council, criticised Yeddyurappa’s “unilateral” decisions in appointing office bearers and presidents of district units.

A Business Standard report quoted Eshwarappa as saying:

“These appointments were made without discussing these names in the party core committee meeting. This is wrong. I will question the appointments before the senior party leaders concerned.”

Eshwarappa comes from Yeddyurappa’s hometown, Shivamogga, and the new chief of the Shivamogga unit of BJP had stood against him as the KJP candidate in the state elections.

Eshwarappa recently held a meeting of leaders from various districts after Yeddyurappa’s revamp process. The meeting expressed concern regarding the “high-handedness” of Yeddyurappa’s loyalists and on the prominence given to those who were in his erstwhile outfit KJP.

Many leaders at the meeting accused him of making unilateral appointments, which went against the party’s tradition of consulting senior leaders, the highest decision-making body of the core committee, and designated election authorities.

In the same report, BJP leader CT Ravi, who attended the meeting, said:

“Party workers who have served the party for a long time have expressed their feeling. Once Yeddyurappa returns from Delhi, it will be discussed with him.”

Now, the leaders have decided to meet the man in charge of the party in Karnataka and National General Secretary, P Muralidhar Rao, to discuss the issue. This kind of developments are not good for BJP’s growth story and least expected by the national leadership.

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