Senior BJP leader KS Eshwarappa received a surprise call from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, April 21. The Shivamogga MLA, who announced his retirement from electoral politics on the instructions of the party high command, was upset when the party chose Channabasappa, his loyalist, as the candidate for the Shivamogga seat, ignoring his son KE Kantesh.
Speaking to reporters after receiving the call from PM Modi, Eshwarappa said he sent his resignation letter just 10 minutes after the party high command had asked him to step down. He also added that PM Modi expressed his admiration for his loyalty to the party and assured him that the party will always be with him.
On April 11, just days before BJP's list of candidates was released, Eshwarappa had voluntarily announced that he was stepping down from electoral politics. It was later revealed that the party high command had asked both Jagadish Shettar and him not to contest in the Assembly elections and make way for others. While Eshwarappa, who has been in the eye of several controversies, was quick to announce his decision not to contest, Shettar refused and eventually spurned the BJP and joined the Congress party along with another leader Laxman Savadi, who was refused a ticket from Athani constituency.
While Yediyurappa’s son BY Vijayendra was given a ticket to contest from the Shikaripura seat, sources close to Eshwarappa’s family said that he had been assured that his son Kanthesh would be given the ticket to contest from the Shivamogga seat, till the very last minute. But the BJP chose to field Channabasappa, a long-time associate of Eshwarappa and known as a Hindutva leader.
Eshwarappa is a five-time MLA from Shivamogga and has served as a minister and deputy chief minister. He stepped down in April 2022 after a BJP worker from Vijayapura, Santhosh Patil – a contractor – died by suicide and left behind a note accusing Eshwarappa of harassment.