While the growing feud between BS Yeddyurappa and KS Eshwarappa seemed to have been headed off by BJP National President Amit Shah’s mediation in January, the Sangolli Rayanna Brigade continues to haunt Yeddyurappa.
The compromise arrived at in January involved KS Eshwarappa withdrawing political support from the Brigade. In return, he would be put in charge of the BJP’s Dalit and OBC wing in Karnataka. Additionally, a committee would be constituted to look into the appointment of district-level leadership in the party.
Following the meeting, comments by Yeddyurappa and BJP National General Secretary Murlidhar Rao seemed to suggest that the Brigade would be wound up soon.
However, Eshwarappa once again raised the spectre of the Brigade, holding a meeting with several of its supporters on Saturday in Bengaluru. “The Sangolli Rayanna Brigade will prove its mettle,” Eshwarappa said at the meeting.
He also told mediapersons after the meeting, “I will participate in activities of the Rayanna Brigade. There was news in the media that the Sangolli Rayanna Brigade was wiped out. This is false news that has been fed to the media. We will continue the Rayanna Brigade. During the meeting with Amit Shah, he had directed me to carry on with the Brigade’s activities without associating its activities with politics.”
Eshwarappa’s comments on the Brigade come on the back of dissension within the party over the failure to fulfil all of the promises made at January’s mediation.
“Apart from the Rayanna Brigade issue, many BJP leaders have expressed their concerns over Yeddyurappa’s decision-making process. During the January 27 meeting with Amit Shah, it was decided that a four-member committee would be formed to analyse the situation and appoint senior leaders as district heads. This was supposed to be done by February 10 and nothing has been done in this regard,” said senior BJP leader from Tumakuru Sogadu Shivanna.
Several senior party leaders have been unhappy, making complaints that Yeddyurappa had allotted positions of power to his associates and had ignored experienced party leaders.
Backing up Shivanna’s claim, former MLC, Shivayogi Swamy and senior BJP leader Nirmal Kumar Surana have also said that the party’s inner workings are in turmoil.
“If necessary changes are not made soon and the four-member committee is not constituted, then there are very slim chances of the BJP surviving in Karnataka,” Surana told media persons on Saturday, while adding that disgruntled leaders will take up the issue with Amit Shah if need be.