Dissent has risen in the Karnataka unit of the BJP once again. This time around, it is from members of the former Sangolli Rayanna Brigade.
Kuruba leaders of the BJP, K Virupakshappa and Somanna Bevinamarad have expressed disappointment with state party President BS Yeddyurappa for being sidelined.
Virupakshappa was a ticket aspirant from Sindhanur and MLC Somanna Bevinamarada had contested and lost the Shiggaon seat in the 2013 elections. Both are now planning to quit the party and contest as independents.
A BJP functionary says that there is not much scope for leaders from the Kuruba community in the party as the Congress already has the support of the community.
â€śIt just did not make sense to offer tickets to Kuruba leaders because the community supports Siddaramaiah. Even the pontiff of Kaginele Mutt, Niranjananad Puri Swami, offered his support to SIddaramaiah. Since winnability is the criteria, the BJP decided to give tickets to leaders of other communities. So that way the BJP would get votes of the said community and we anyway have the support of the Lingayat community,â€ť the source added.
Sources with the BJP say that the leaders who were a part of the Rayanna Brigade, are disappointed with KS Eshwarappa, the Kuruba leader who had started the Sangolli Rayanna Brigade. Saffron party insiders say that these leaders along with Eshwarappa had submitted a list of candidate names to the high command and had demanded that they be given tickets.
â€śOnly Eshwarappaâ€™s name was cleared and the rest did not get tickets. Eshwarappa realised that if he continued protesting against Yeddyurappa, even he would not get a ticket. So, this time around, he remained silent regarding his supporters not getting tickets,â€ť the source added.
A BJP leader says that the various moves made by Eshwarappaâ€™s to turn the tables to his side have failed, mostly because, he was late consolidating Kuruba votes.
â€śSiddaramaiahâ€™s Ahinda movement was huge. There was pressure on Eshwarappa to break Siddaramaiahâ€™s voter base. He conceptualised the Sangolli Rayanna Brigade for this purpose. But when the Lingayat leaders in the party realised that if the Brigade became successful, then Eshwarappa would become powerful. That is also one of the reasons why Yeddyurappa was not in favour of giving the former Brigade leaders a ticket,â€ť the leader said.