Cracking down on dissidence, the BJP's Karnataka unit on Sunday removed four of its office-bearers.
Vice Presidents Bhanuprakash and Nirmal Kumar Surana, Raitha Morcha Vice President M.P. Renukacharya and spokesperson G. Madhusudhan were divested of all party responsibilities with immediate effect.
"The action is necessary in the backdrop of the recent developments within BJP Karnataka unit," Bharatiya Janata Party's Karnataka General Secretary N. Ravi Kumar said in a statement.
Renukacharya and Madhusudhan are identified as members of the camp of state unit chief B.S. Yeddyurappa, who is at loggerheads with Leader of Opposition in Legislative Council K.S. Eshwarappa, to whom Bhanuprakash and Surana owe allegiance.
On April 27, Eshwarappa had organized a meeting with dissidents of Karnataka BJP at Bengaluru Palace Grounds, from where a few Yeddyurappa supporters were muscled out for objecting to criticism of their leader.
BJP National General Secretary and state in-charge Muralidhar Rao, who had been tasked by BJP President Amit Shah to submit a report on the dissident activities, had said: "BJP workers or leaders should not attend meetings or rallies other than those organized by the party."
Rao, who arrived in Bengaluru on Saturday night, met state leaders and lawmakers at the party office on Sunday and collected their opinions and suggestions on the dissidents' activities.
While those identified as Yeddyurappa camp followers and the neutral group turned up to meet Rao, those of the Eshwarappa camp stayed away.
Expressing serious displeasure against 'Save BJP' rally organised by the Eshwarappa group recently, Rao said no such meetings or rallies should be held in the future.
"Discussing party issues on the streets is not healthy; there is internal democracy in the party to discuss any issue," he said.
Rao is set to submit a report to Amit Shah.
According to party sources, the BJP is set to act tough this time against those who embarrass the party.
An indication to this effect has already been conveyed as the party acted against two functionaries each from both Yeddyurappa and Eshwarappa group who embarrassed the party.
Meanwhile, Eshwarappa held a meeting with his supporters including former minister Shivanna, MLC Bhanuprakash and others in Tumakuru.
Maintaining his defiant stand, Eshwarappa said Muralidhar Rao has no authority to take any action against him. He expressed his displeasure over the disciplinary action initiated against Bhanuprakash and Surana.