With the Karnataka state elections approaching in 2018, tensions between former CM and BJP party President BS Yeddyurappa and Opposition Leader KS Eshwarappa seem to have surfaced once again regarding the Sangolli Rayanna Brigade.
Yeddyurappa issued a strict directive to party members on Sunday warning of action against party members who choose to support the brigade.
â€śBJP does not recognize Sangolli Rayanna Brigade. Appropriate and strict action will be taken against any party member who chooses to support it. These are orders from the leaders at the national-level,â€ť Yeddyurappa told mediapersons.
The issue surfaced as party members were scheduled to meet in Nandagada on Tuesday, where the brigadeâ€™s role in helping the Dalits and backward casts is to be decided and a mandate set up for implementing schemes in this regard, reported Suvarna News.
BJP General Secretary Muralidhar Rao, however, maintained that the partyâ€™s OBC morcha, which caters to helping the Dalits and backward castes include the involvement of all party members and that there was no reason to work outside the party.
On August 19, Eshwarappa, with the support of Muralidhar Rao, despite the party supremoâ€™s opposition went ahead with the registration of the brigade, an organization meant to represent Dalits and backward castes.
The Sangolli Rayanna Brigade is the new avatar of the Sangolli Rayanna Hitarakshana Samiti, which was started about 10 years ago by Eshwarappa when he was minister for water resources in the BJP-JD(S) coalition government, TNM had earlier reported.
Eshwarappaâ€™s move had then been projected as a strategy to break into Chief Minister Siddaramaiahâ€™s hold over the Ahinda communities â€“ Dalits, Backward Castes and Minorities â€“ in the upcoming elections. (Ahinda is a Kannada acronym which stands for these communities.)
But other than countering Siddaramaiah, the Brigade also envisages to make Eshwarappa a formidable force within the BJP, which is why, it is believed the brigade has garnered strong resistance from the party supremo.