Nation Politics 30 May 2020 Katti brothers fight ...

Katti brothers fight for existence-engineered rebellion in BJP

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | VINAY MADHAV & B. ARAVINDA SHETTY
Published May 30, 2020, 6:21 pm IST
Updated May 30, 2020, 6:21 pm IST
This is a bigger political feud between three major Lingayat families in Belagavi region -- Katthi family, Kore family and Jolle family
Bad news for chief minister B S Yediyurappa is that the rebellion comes from his own community of Lingayats. File photo
 Bad news for chief minister B S Yediyurappa is that the rebellion comes from his own community of Lingayats. File photo

Bengaluru: Impending polls to Rajya Sabha and nominations to the Legislative Council in Karnataka have stirrred up a rebellion within the ruling BJP in Karnataka, which had been brushed under COVID-19 carpet for over last two months.

However, unlike last time, where it was between those deprived of a ministerial berth and those who got one, the present difference is taking different shapes with North-South Karnataka and caste combinations.

 

Bad news for chief minister B S Yediyurappa is that the rebellion comes from his own community of Lingayats and that's too from powerful Panchamashali Lingayat group, while Yeddyurappa and his deputy Laxman Savadi belong to weaker sub-community of Ganigas. Good news for Yediyurappa is that the issue is handled by RSS, as RSS will have bigger say in the nominations and issuing tickets.

As former minister Umesh Katthi, who held meeting of over 20 North Karnataka MLAs on Thursday night, RSS leaders Mukund and Dattatreya Hosbale held a long meeting with Yeddyurappa himself. Amdist confusion in the BJP camp, opposition Congress is hoping for collapse of the government and Bengaluru Rural MP D K Suresh, on Friday said that there could be mid-term poll for Karnataka Assembly.

 

At the moment, four Rajya Sabha members are retiring and election are due in June. Those retiring from Karnataka include Prabhakar Kore (BJP), B.K. Hariprasad (Congress), Rajeev Gowda (Congress) and D. Kupendra Reddy JD(S). According to present strength in the Assembly ruling BJP can comfortably bag two seats.

Prabhakar Kore, a prominent Lingayat leader from Mumbai Karnataka, is seeking a third term. However, there seems to be a roadblock to his nomination to the Upper House because BJP senior legislator of Hukkeri constituency, Umesh Katti has demanded a Rajya Sabha ticket for his brother Ramesh Katti as he was deprived of a ministerial berth.

 

This is a bigger political feud between three major Lingayat families in Belagavi region -- Katthi family, Kore family and Jolle family. While Shashikala Jolle is a state minister, her husband Annasaheb Jolle is the Chikkodi MP. Umesh Katthi's brother Ramesh Katthi was denied a ticket during the election. Meanwhile, Prabhakar Kore has been given more prominence than Katthi and has been member of state or central upper house for a long time. With these two families getting more prominence in Belagavi region, Katthi is feeling marginalised. Besides, though Laxman Savadi lost Assembly elections, he was made Deputy Chief Minister, which further weakened Katthi and he is now, hell bent on wresting Rajya Sabha seat from Kore.

 

Selections of Rajya Sabha candidate may not be in the hands of  Yediyurappa. Besides, Katthi is not in good books of many RSS leaders, including National Organising Secretary B L Santhosh. But, Katthi has enough ammunition to shake Yeddyurappa, who can not ignore the rebellion.

Legislative Council polls

The supporting factors for Katthi has come in the form of elections to Legislative Council, where five seats are falling vacant next month.

During Operation Lotus, Yeddyurappa had promised those supported BJP to ensure that they would be ministers at any cost. However, Yeddyurappa could not give ticket to R Shankar, while MTB Nagaraj and A H Vishwanath lost elections. All the three are demanding Legislative Council seat and make them ministers.

 

This has put Yeddyurappa in fix as all the three belong to Kuruba community. Besides, already there are two Kuruba ministers in the cabinet and with these three, the number of Kuruba ministers would go up to five. The other contender is former minister C P Yogeshwar, who played a major role in Operation Lotus.

Since Yeddyurappa and Savadi are Lingayats, barring former chief minister Jagadish Shettar, a large number of senior Lingayat leaders like Katthi, Basanagouda Patil Yatnal, M P Renukacharya, Murugesh Nirani have been made to sit on bench. Besides, the representation is tilting more towards Old-Mysuru region, depriving Mumbai-Karnataka and Hyderabad-Karnataka with lesser representation.

 

This helped Katthi to get a number of MLAs from North Karnataka and senior BJP leaders, who are slowly distancing themselves from those who came in through Operation Lotus. Apart from ministerial berths, may have aspiration for Boards and Corporation postings, which seems to be eluding them.

Disgruntled MLAs meet

Meanwhile to mount pressure on the Chief Minister B.S.Yediyurappa to select candidate of their choice to both Rajya Sabha and the Legislative Council, BJP legislators headed by Mr. Umesh Katti met at private hotel here on Thursday.

 

Disgruntled BJP MLAs who halted their dissident activities due to Hush-hush meeting of disgruntled MLAs become headache to the Chief Minister who is busy with handling Covid -19 pandemic since two months. Senior legislator of BJP, Umesh Katti, his brother and former MP, Ramesh Katti, party MLAs, Murugesh Nirani, Basanagowda Patil Yatnal were attended dinner meeting at Bengaluru.

However, Mr.  Nirani has rebutted of attending any meeting against the leadership of  Yediyurappa. But party insiders have not ruled out of conducting such meeting at Bengaluru.

 

In fact disgruntled MLAs have registered their protest before the party leadership in February 2020, for growing prominence of B.Y. Vijayendra, son of the Chief Minister in the day today administration. Mr. Yatnal and Katti openly expressed their displeasure against the Chief Minister to make them stand in front of Mr. Vijayendra to get approval for government works.

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Location: India, Karnataka, Bengaluru




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