Bengaluru: Differences among top leaders in the state unit of BJP have come to the fore with Union minister D V Sadananda Gowda declining to pay heed to state unit president B S Yeddyurappa's plea to swap his parliamentary constituency, Bengaluru (North), with his trusted aide Shobha Karandlaje, who was elected to Lok Sabha from Udupi-Chikkamagaluru seat.
Sources in the state unit of BJP said a few days ago, Mr Yeddyurappa requested Mr Sadananda Gowda to make way for Ms Shobha Karandlaje in view of widespread resentment against her among party workers in Udupi-Chikkamagaluru constituency.
Mr. Gowda, however, politely declined to return to his former home turf on grounds that frequent change of seats would impact his prospects in forthcoming Lok Sabha polls. “Whatever may be the outcome, I will contest from Bengaluru (North) if the party decides to field me from this constituency,” was his response to the state unit president.
Meanwhile, sources close to Mr. Gowda told Deccan Chronicle that though the Union minister was elected from Udupi Chikkamagaluru Lok Sabha constituency in 2009, it would not be proper on his party to hop seats at frequent intervals.
Mr. Sadananda Gowda first contested from Dakshina Kannada Lok Sabha seat in 2004, and defeated former Union minister M. Veerappa Moily. Subsequently, he moved to Udupi-Chikkamagaluru in 2009. In 2014, Mr. Gowda moved to Bengaluru (North) in the wake of opposition from party cadre in this constituency.
The Union minister has made up his mind to stay put in Bengaluru (North) and would refuse to enter the fray if forced to shift to Udupi-Chikkamagaluru.
Sources said undeterred by Mr Gowda’s refusal to return to Udupi-Chikkamagaluru, Mr. Yeddyurappa reportedly took up this issue with party president Amit Shah during their meeting in New Delhi on Friday. The former CM reportedly attempted to impress upon Mr Shah that the party would be able to win both seats and increase the tally in case Mr Sadananda Gowda and Ms Karandlaje swap their seats. Mr Shah, however, was non-committal about Mr Yeddyurappa's proposal, souces added.
Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, Mr. Sadananda Gowda said he has conducted elections meeting in Bengaluru (North) constituency, and completed meetings at Dasarahalli, Pulakeshinagara, K.R.Puram and Mahalakshi layout. He would address similar meetings in Hebbal, Malleswaram, Yeshwantapur and Byatarayanapura constituencies soon.
“There is no question of shifting to Udupi-Chikkamagaluru. It is just a rumour. Few leaders in the party are trying to spread falsehood against me, but I am firm in my decision,” Mr. Gowda said without naming his arch rival and former home minister R. Ashoka. “In fact Ms Karandlaje told me long ago that she will not contest from Udupi Chikkamagaluru. I also have substantial clout in my previous constituency,” Mr. Gowda added.
Sources said with Mr Shah remaining noncommittal about such a swap of seats between Union minister Mr Gowda and Ms Karandlaje, Mr Yeddyurappa decided not to take the risk of selecting candidates and allowed central leaders to make their choice for forthcoming Lok Sabha elections....