Former Union Minister of State for Textiles Basanagouda Patil Yatnal joined the BJP on Wednesday along with JD(S) MLA Basavaraj Khuba, Congress leader Nagappa Saloni and another former Union Minister Basavaraj Patil Anwari.
Yatnal, a Veerashaiva-Lingayat strongman from Vijayapura district, had been dismissed from the BJP for making anti-party statements in 2010. He had joined the JD(S) but had quit in 2013 and contested as an Independent and won from the Bijapur constituency. Yatnal was former Minister of State, Textiles in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government from July 1, 2002 to September 8, 2003. He was also a Minister of State, Railways from September 8, 2003 to May 16, 2004.
Now he is back in the BJPâ€™s fold and local BJP leaders in Vijayapura are not happy about it. On Wednesday, angry party workers staged a protest outside the BJP office in Vijayapura and one of them consumed poison.
Former BJP MLA Appu Pattannashetty and his followers along with the BJP leaders in the Bijapur City Council marched to the BJP party office and expressed their opposition to inducting Yatnal into the party.
Amidst loud sloganeering, an enraged Vijayapura BJP Yuva Morcha Vice President Babu Jagadala attempted suicide by consuming poison. He was immediately taken to a private hospital and is currently being treated.
Reacting to the turn of events, former Deputy Mayor of Bijapur Gopal Ghatakambala lashed out against Yatnal. â€śA BJP worker has tried to commit suicide. The party high command must intervene and rectify the situation,â€ť he said.
The party workers in Bijapur have further threatened massive protests if Yatnal was not removed from the party.
According to an office bearer at the BJP district office in Bijapur, the partyâ€™s state President BS Yeddyurappa did not consult any local leaders before welcoming Yatnal into the partyâ€™s fold.
â€śYeddyurappa is inducting only those people whom he thinks will benefit him and not the party. He did not consult anyone here in Bijapur before taking this decision,â€ť the source said.
BJP insider say that this is not the first time he has done this. In March, Yeddyurappa announced that the JD(S) candidate for the upcoming polls in Muddebihal, AS Patil, was joining the BJP. Also, for Indi constituency, he announced that former JD(S) MLA Ravikant Patil would join the party.
â€śHe did all this without consulting party workers. He also told party workers in Bijapur that not only Yatnal but also AS Patil and Ravikant Patil would get tickets to contest polls. What made local leaders angry is that they have done ground level work for five years and are now being side-lined despite working hard,â€ť the source said.