A scuffle erupted after Yeddyurappa loyalist Puttaswamy took exception to criticism of the party President by MLC Bhanuprakash.

Karnataka BJP feud erupts again Yeddyurappa supporters forced out of Eshwarappa faction event
news Politics Thursday, April 27, 2017 - 15:51

The simmering dissent in the BJP’s Karnataka wing erupted to the surface on Thursday, as supporters of state party President BS Yeddyurappa were forced out of an event organised by supporters of KS Eshwarappa, Leader of Opposition in the Vidhana Parishad.

Party leader Puttaswamy, a Yeddyurappa loyalist, was among those forced out of the “Samsthe Ulisi” (save organisation) meet held by the Eshwarappa faction at Bengaluru’s Palace Grounds.

The rebel leaders had gathered at Palace Grounds on Thursday and expressed their displeasure against Yeddyurappa for sidelining senior party leaders and workers since the day he took charge. They blamed his unfair party policies for the rift in the party.

“Even during the Nanjangud and Gundlupet elections, none of us were consulted before election campaign strategies were formulated. If he had spoken about Modi during the campaign, the BJP would have had a chance to win the polls. No consultations were held with workers who have been in the party for decades,” said senior BJP leader, Sogadu Shivanna.

When MLC Bhanuprakash lashed out at Yeddyurappa for refusing to support the Sangolli Rayanna Brigade, a ruckus erupted between Eshwarappa and Yeddyurappa’s supporters.

“We had formed the Rayanna Brigade to ensure the welfare of Dalits and OBCs. It was formed to highlight the atrocities committed against them by the Congress government. Yeddyurappa did not want to support such a noble cause. What has Yeddyurappa done for the BJP?” MLC Bhanuprakash said.

As soon as these words were spoken, Puttaswamy went up to the dais and began arguing with Bhanuprakash about Yeddyurappa’s loyalty towards the BJP. The war of words soon turned violent with Esharappa supporters pushing Puttaswamy and other Yeddyurappa loyalists out of the venue.

“It is no longer Save BJP but Save the Organisation as a whole. Yeddyurappa has been blinded by selfish people in the party who praise him for their own benefit. Look what happened when they led him to defect and form the KJP. It was a huge failure. Yeddyurappa always makes mistakes and later regrets them. I’m sure he will realise what a huge mistake he has made by sidelining party veterans and giving important positions to his sycophants,” Eshwarappa said.

Yeddyurappa, reacted strongly to these speeches and warned party workers and office bearers to keep away from the rebels or face disciplinary action.

“Strict action will be taken against those who speak against the party,” Yeddyurappa said. He also said that he was not immediately reacting to the statements as he was leaving it to the party High Command to determine what action should be taken.

Refuting Yedduyrappa’s claim that the party workers were speaking against the BJP, Eshwarappa said that there was no question of any of the dissatisfied leaders leaving the party and forming a new one.

“We are party loyalists. There is no question of forming a new party or leaving the party. Party comes first and before all. We are here to demand that the BJP be saved in Karnataka due to its deteriorating condition,” Eshwarappa said.

The feud between Yeddyurappa and Eshwarappa had earlier reached a fever pitch, over complaints that party positions were being dominated by those who had formerly belonged to the erstwhile Karnataka Janata Party (KJP), formed by Yeddyurappa. The formation of the Sangolli Rayanna Brigade by the disaffected section had turned into a major flashpoint, with BJP National President Amit Shah intervening to effect a compromise between the two senior leaders.

However, as part of this compromise, Yeddyurappa was to call a meeting with disaffected leaders to sort out the issue of party positions, which he had so far not done.

The meeting at Palace Grounds on Thursday drew together 80-100 party workers from each district, who said they felt let down by Yeddyurappa’s continuing recalcitrance on the issue. The leaders threatened a “Delhi Chalo” march and said that the disillusioned leaders would take up the issue with the national high command if necessary.


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