All’s not well in the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Vijayapura unit. The saffron party’s State President BS Yeddyurappa’s long-time friend Rajugouda Patil and 400 cadre tendered a collective resignation on Thursday.
On Wednesday, Rajugouda Patil and hundreds of party workers protested outside the party office in Vijayapura against Devar Hippargi Congress MLA AS Patil and Basanagouda Patil Yatnal’s induction to the party. Yatnal, who was part of the party earlier, 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.
The protestors alleged that BJP state President BS Yeddyurappa had not consulted local leaders before inducting them into the party.
“I have always been loyal to Yeddyurappa. Over the past five years, party workers and local leaders, including me, have done a lot of ground-level work. Without consulting any of us who have worked so hard and built up the party image, Yeddyurappa took the decision to bring in Yatnal and AS Patil, two leaders whom we have campaigned against. We are opposed to this,” Rajugouda told TNM.
Rajugouda and his followers have now announced that they will collectively join the Janata Dal (Secular) on April 8 during State President HD Kumaraswamy’s rally in Basavanabagewadi.
“When Yeddyurappa formed Karnataka Janata Paksha, I too went with him without questioning him. He betrayed me and all who were loyal to him. Hence, we have decided to join JD(S),” he said.
BJP insiders say that the high command is unhappy with Yeddyurappa about the turn of events and the national leadership has decided to hold a meeting in Bengaluru on Thursday in this regard.
The national leaders in-charge of elections are slated to meet with AS Patil and Basanagouda Patil Yatnal in the city to put an end to the rebellion in the party.
“AS Patil and Rajugouda were associates 20 years ago, and ever since Rajugouda joined BJP back then, the two have become bitter rivals. The national leaders will hold talks with Rajugouda and AS Patil, and try to mend their differences between the two and Yeddyurappa will also be present during the meeting. Rajugouda wanted the Devar Hippargi ticket and now that it is being given to AS Patil after his defection. So he is not happy about the turn of events,” the source added.