Dakshina Kannada MP Nalin Kumar Kateel was appointed as the new BJP state President for Karnataka on Tuesday.
Nalin replaces outgoing President BS Yediyurappa who completed his three-year term.
The appointment was announced in a memo issued by Arun Singh, National General Secretary of the BJP. "BJP National President Amit Shah has appointed Nalin Kumar Kateel, MP as State President of BJP Karnataka. This appointment comes into immediate effect," the memo states.
According to sources in the BJP, CT Ravi and Arvind Limbavali were also considered for the post but the party decided to name Nalin instead.
The appointment comes months after Nalin won the Lok Sabha election from the Dakshina Kannada constituency despite criticism against him for lack of developmental works in Mangaluru and over the merger of Vijaya Bank with the Bank of Baroda. Vijaya Bank was started by a group of farmers in Mangaluru in 1931. He defeated Congress leader Mithun Rai by a margin of 2,74,621 votes.
Close to the results of the election, Nalin was reprimanded by the BJP for comments supporting Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse. "Godse killed one, Kasab killed 72, Rajiv Gandhi killed 17,000. You judge who is more cruel in this?", Nalin tweeted. The tweet has since been deleted. He later tendered an apology on the social media platform.
Nalin was among three BJP leaders asked to explain their comments by Amit Shah alongside Sadhvi Pragya Thakur and Anantkumar Hegde.
The appointment of Nalin comes on the day the BJP announced a list of 17 cabinet ministers. In the list, no MLA from any of the three coastal districts - Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Uttara Kannada - were picked, while the lone representative of the region was MLC Kota Srinivas Poojary. Nalin's appointment is seen as a way of appeasing the party workers in Dakshina Kannada, aggrieved at the lack of ministers from the region.