“This will teach the central leadership a lesson,” reads the poster that is circulating on social media.

Miffed with high command over Varuna debacle Yeddyurappa loyalists campaign for NOTA
Karnataka Elections Karnataka 2018 Thursday, April 26, 2018 - 19:35

It was touted as the battle of the first sons. But it was not to be after Vijayendra – the son of BJP state chief Yeddyurappa – was denied a party ticket at the eleventh hour. Instead, the BJP chose to field Basavaraju, a leader from T Narasipura to take on Yathindra – the son of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah in Varuna constituency.

Miffed with the BJP high command, loyalists of Yeddyurappa and Vijayendra are now allegedly asking BJP supporters to vote NOTA instead of the lotus in Varuna. This, they say, will “teach the central leadership a lesson”.

In what has come as an embarrassment for the saffron party, posters urging BJP supporters to vote NOTA have been circulated on WhatsApp, Facebook and other social media platforms,

The poster reads, “When loyal workers do not have the way to put candidates of their choice, then they have no other choice than to vote for NOTA.

Holding Union Minister Ananth Kumar and RSS man Ashok responsible for Vijayendra being denied the party ticket, the poster blames the two for “crushing the hopes of BJP workers”.

With an inverted lotus symbol as its watermark, the poster also states, “We will defend our right to vote for the candidate we want.”

The poster also goes on to state that there were 40,000 to 50,000 people when Vijayendra came to file nomination but only 6,000 when Basavaraju went to file his nomination papers.

The Varuna seat was held by Siddaramaiah for the last 10 years and was vacated to allow Yathindra to launch his political career.

To contain the damage, BJP’s chief ministerial face BS Yeddyurappa on Thursday asked party members to keep aside differences and work for the party’s victory in the May 12 polls.

While addressing party members in Shivamogga, Yeddyurappa also urged BJP members to not endorse NOTA and instead to ensure that the party candidate emerges victorious in Varuna.

Later in the day, he held a meeting asking party leaders to stand united with regards to this development.

It was speculated, that the central leadership had denied Vijayendra a ticket to clip Yeddyurappa’s growing influence within the party in Karnataka. On the face, Vijayendra was made the party’s Yuva morcha general Secretary and also keeping away the “dynastic party” tag.

Meanwhile. CM Siddaramaiah had attacked BS Yeddyurappa over the limited control he has over the party’s ticket distribution.