Bengaluru: It’s not just voters who are in a dilemma, but a majority of corporators and party workers of BJP as well, on the issue of supporting disqualified MLAs—ST Somashekar (Yeshwantpur) and Byrati Basavaraj (KR Puram)—who defected to the BJP ahead of next month’s bypolls to the Legislative Assembly.
Sensing resentment among his party leaders and workers, Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa has reportedly chaired two meetings to ensure that they work for the victory of these candidates and not express their ire against them in public.
Such bitterness stems from some episodes involving these disqualified legislators. For instance, former corporators of K.R. Puram constituency, including Poornima Srinivas, daughter of former minister A Krishnappa, and Manjula Srinivas (both BJP), were up in arms against Mr Basavaraj when he was elected to the Assembly on a Congress ticket. Their differences were discernable at various events and during flagging off of several infrastructure projects. They were vocal and recorded their displeasure against him at BBMP council meetings. They had charged that he was the stumble block for them when they tried to secure infrastructure projects and execute them in their respective wards, said sources in the state unit of BJP.
A similar situation has arisen in other constituencies — Yeshwantpur and Mahalakshmipuram.
Interestingly, N R Ramesh, spokesperson of BJP’s city unit, who levelled damning allegations against these three disqualified legislators, known in political circles as ‘SBM’ (ST Somashekar from Yeshwantpur, Byrati Basavaraj from KR Puram and Munirathna from Rajarajeshwarinagar constituencies) group. Mr Ramesh had filed more than a dozen complaints with the Lokayukta and ACMM court against these three legislators but has no option than follow the diktat of top leaders of the party to ensure that corporators support the party’s candidates, sources added.