A disagreement between the two BJP leaders has erupted over the composition of booth-level committee members.

Feuding again in Ktaka BJP Yeddyurappa wants RSS man BL Santosh to stay out of state politicsPTI/File
news Politics Monday, September 25, 2017 - 17:37

Infighting in the Karnataka unit of BJP has cropped up once again with the State President BS Yeddyurappa voicing his complaints against the party’s National Organising Secretary BL Santosh.

On Sunday evening, Yeddyurappa met BJP National General Secretary Muralidhar Rao and accused Santosh of disrupting the party’s functioning in Karnataka. Yeddyurappa has also urged Rao to limit Santosh’s duties strictly to what he has been assigned to.

“Yeddyurappa has requested Muralidhar Rao to keep Santosh away from politics in Karnataka. He wants BL Santosh to perform the duties he has been assigned. He has requested the high command to keep him updated of Santosh’s duties, so it will not clash with his decisions,” a party insider said.

Issue over keeping Santosh’s supporters out of meeting

The disagreement between the two BJP leaders erupted over the composition of booth-level committee members.

The two leaders have been at loggerheads ever since Yeddyurappa was made to step down from the post of Chief Minister in 2011 following the Janthakal Mining Scam. Party insiders say that Santosh, a long-time RSS pracharak, was instrumental in bringing Yeddyurappa down.

However, the recent disagreement cropped up after Santosh expressed his displeasure over Yeddyurappa’s style of functioning.

MLC Bhanuprakash, former MLAs Nirmal Kumar Surana and Shivayogiswamy, and several party functionaries who are supporters of Santosh were not invited for booth-level committee meeting organised in Bengaluru on Saturday. This has angered the party veteran.

However, Yeddyurappa’s loyalists argue that Santosh had included the names of his supporters in the list of members invited for the meeting without consulting the party chief.

“Regarding the issue of not inviting certain leaders for the meeting on Saturday, Yeddyurappa has told Muralidhar Rao that the names of Santosh’s supporters were added to the list of committee members without consulting him, which is why he had not invited Santosh’s supporters,” a BJP source said.

However, Santosh’s supporters said that the booth campaign committee had been formed by BJP National President Amit Shah himself and they were deliberately not invited.

Past differences

Party insiders say that Yeddyurappa had on Sunday also expressed his concern over Santosh being the reason for the rift between him and Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council - KS Eshwarappa.

The Sangolli Rayyanna Brigade, headed by Eshwarappa, was formed in August 2016 to reach out to the Dalit vote bank. The issue of setting up the Brigade had become a controversial as it was used by several leaders of the party to bring to fore the workings of the state BJP led by Yeddyurappa.

At the time, Yeddyurappa had strongly opposed the formation of the Brigade. The feud between Yeddyurappa and Eshwarappa had reached its peak and BJP National President Amit Shah intervened. At the time, Eshwarappa's supporters as well Santosh’s loyalists like Bhanuprakash and Surana had voiced their concerns about Yeddyurappa's style of functioning.

Bhanuprakash and Surana were, however, removed as party vice-presidents for speaking out against Yeddyurappa.

 “Amit Shah, during his visit to Karnataka had warned party leaders and functionaries against indiscipline and infighting. It is not a good sign that such differences have cropped up when everything was going well in the party,” MLC Bhanuprakash said.

Seeking Delhi’s intervention

According to a party insider, both Yeddyurappa and Santosh will voice their concerns to Amit Shah in New Delhi on Monday. Both leaders are in the national capital for the BJP national executive meet.

Santosh is planning to petition the national leaders against Yeddyurappa’s style of working. Yeddyuruppa’s decision to appoint former MLC G Madhusudhan as party spokesperson, and replacing Union Minister Ananth Kumar, Eshwarappa and Jagadish Shettar with SM Krishna, S Suresh Kumar and Aravind Limbavali as members of social media campaigning committee, has upset Santosh.

Also read: The RSS man that Yeddyurappa blames for Eshwarappa's rebellion: Who is he and what is his role?



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