Laxman Savadi elevation: Athani simmers

New Deputy CM is yet to prove his mettle in local politics and is not too popular among BJP, RSS cadre.

Hubballi: The BJP's decision to make Mr Laxman Savadi a deputy Chief Minister in the Yediyurappa government has not gone down well with the local RSS and party units in Athani taluk. Unpopular with the local RSS cadre in Athani, where the organisation has a strong presence, his elevation has surprised many, who accuse him of failing to come to their rescue when there were cases against them.

"The decision of the BJP high command has surprised us all as we don't consider him an active member of the RSS like other workers of the organisation in Athani. I cannot object to his elevation as I am loyal to the organisation and have nothing to do with the BJP," said a senior RSS leader of North Karnataka, who belongs to Athani town.

While many of the local BJP leaders are afraid to speak out against the party high command's decision, they too resent his appointment as deputy Chief Minister, pointing out that he lost the Belagavi District Central Co-operative Bank (DCC) election to BJP leader, Umesh Katti's brother and former MP, Ramesh Katti in 2015.

They also note that he was once accused of supporting Congress MLA, Anand Nyamagoudar during the elections to the adjacent Jamkhandi Assembly constituency as he belongs to his Ganiga sub-sect of the Lingayat community. But some believe it is the caste factor that is responsible for his growth and claim the BJP high command is backing Mr Savadi as he is identified with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's brother, who has been organising the Ghanchi community. "The Ganiga sub-sect of the Lingayats is identified with castes in Gujarat, and other states," they observe.

"Although Mr Savadi has a good rapport with the RSS at the state and national level, he has failed to prove his mettle in Athani where he was rejected by the voters. The BJP's move to nominate him as observer for the Maharashtra assembly polls will also not help the party," warns political observer, Ashok Chandaragi.

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