Disappointed ticket aspirants have begun expressing their anger against the Bharatiya Janata Party in Karnataka ever since the first list of candidates was released on Sunday.
On Tuesday, BJP leader Jagadish C Metgud and his followers gathered at his residence in Belagavi districtâ€™s Bailahongal and marched till the Sangolli Rayanna Circle, shouting slogans against the party President BS Yeddyurappa.
Over 100 followers of Metgud carried posters of Yeddyurappa; they then kept one poster on the circle, threw slippers at it and then set it on fire.
The ticket he was vying for was given to incumbent MLA Vishwanathgouda Patil, who had won the seat in 2013 when he was associated with the Karnataka Janata Paksha.
Jagadishâ€™s followers alleged that Yeddyurappa was ensuring â€śhis cronies got tickets, while the veterans were sidelinedâ€ť.
â€śJagadish did not follow Yeddyurappa into the KJP, but Vishwanth Patil did. Vishwanath also managed to win the elections from the KJP ticket as he is considered as a leader who is accessible to the people. Vishwanath still enjoys strong support there. Besides, Yeddyurappa was not happy about the fact that Jagadish Metgud did not support him when he formed the KJP,â€ť the BJP source said.
Similar protests have erupted across the state involving unhappy ticket aspirants.
On Monday, BJP leader and corporator of Yediyur, NR Ramesh, who was aspiring to get the Chikpet ticket publicly lashed out at the party. He claimed that Union Minister Ananth Kumar was responsible for Uday Garudachar, a businessman, getting the ticket instead of him, even though he lost previous elections.
Ramesh also alleged that money played a role in the decision taken by the party high command.
Other disappointed ticket aspirants also alleged that preference was given to those leaders who had joined the KJP with Yeddyurappa in 2013 when he split briefly with the BJP.
In Molakalmur of Chitradurga district, sitting MLA Thippeswamy alleged he had been ignored by the party as the ticket was given to B Sriramulu, the MP from Ballari.
In Bijapur, Appu Pattanshetty expressed disappointment at not getting a ticket and said that he would have to think of his next move if the party sidelined him.
Mallikarjuna Khuba, who defected from the Janata Dal (Secular) was given the ticket to contest from Basavakalyan in Bidar. This angered party senior leader Basavaraj Patil Attur. Basavaraj, who had hoped that his son Lingaraj would get the ticket, voiced his anger against Yeddyurappa. Moreover, his supporters clashed with Mallikarjunaâ€™s on Monday in Basavakalyan.
These developments have left the state BJP leaders, who had gone to New Delhi to attend the central election committee meeting, red in the face.
Sources in the BJP say that the high command is unhappy about the way the state leadership has handled the dissent in the party. Sources say that Amit Shah has ordered the state leadership to quell the dissent immediately.
â€śAmit Shah is not happy about the leaders rebelling when the elections are only a month away. He told senior leaders here to bring the rebel leaders under control,â€ť the source added.
As the dissent in the party gathered media attention, BJP state President BS Yeddyurappa told the media that that disappointment being expressed was normal after the candidate lists are announced.
â€śI will hold a meeting with those who did not get tickets and try to soothe their disappointment,â€ť Yeddyurappa said.