Bengaluru: Upset over the sacking of two of his lieutenants from party posts, Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council K.S. Eshwarappa said that he was unlikely to participate in the two-day BJP state executive meeting to be held from May 6.
The meeting assumes significance as it is the first after the BJP suffered embarrassing losses in the Nanjangud and Gundlupet Assembly bypolls.
State BJP president B.S. Yeddyurappa had announced the meeting 10-15 days ago to discuss the reasons for losing the bypolls and to work out a strategy for the coming Assembly polls in 2018.
In the meantime, the crisis unfolded in the state BJP with a section of leaders holding a meeting and criticising Yeddyurappa's style of functioning.
Talking to Deccan Chronicle, Mr Eshwarappa said he saw no meaning in attending the state executive when two leaders loyal to him-MLC Bhanuprakash and Nirmal Kumar Surana had been sacked from the posts of BJP vice-presidents at the behest of Yeddyurappa. "I have my own doubts about participating in the Mysuru meeting. Even other leaders like Sogadu Shivanna and Dr Ravindranath may stay away."
Eshwarappa also expressed surprise that Bharatiya Janata Party general secretary in charge of Karnataka Muralidhar Rao had directed leaders and party workers not to get involved in the activities of Sangolli Rayanna Brigade, which was aimed at mobilising the support of Dalits and backward classes. This meant the BJP did not want the support of those communities in the 2018 Assembly polls.
“Rao might have drawn the 'Lakshman Rekha' but I will continue to be a part of the brigade come what may. By doing this, I am not indulging in anti-party activity as my intention is loud and clear-to make Bharatiya Janata Party come to power in the state.” Eshwarappa, a noted Kuruba leader, said that he deliberately avoided a meeting with Rao after he came to know that Bhunuprakash and Surana had been unceremoniously removed from party posts. Both had been working as RSS pracharaks and the unwarranted action was taken under pressure from Yeddyurappa. This had sent a wrong signal to the party cadre and upset them a lot.
“I had expected Rao during his visit to Bengaluru to call both factions and end the crisis. But nothing of that sort happened, he came, saw and went without doing anything,” he said....