Yeddyurappa blames RSS functionary Udupi man Santosh for rift in BJP

Elizabeth Williams
April 28, 2017

The rebellion within the BJP against the style of functioning of State president B.S. Yeddyurappa got louder on Thursday with almost 1,250 prominent workers attending the meeting called by disgruntled party old guards in Bengaluru, where they sought the intervention of national president Amit Shah.

Yeddyurappa, though, has yet to keep his word of calling all disgruntled leaders, including Eshwarappa, to a meeting to hear their grievances. "RSS workers and BJP grass-root workers have laid their lives for the party and their sacrifices are being forgotten by some petty-minded individuals and selfish groups", he said.

Soon after the event, legislators in the Yeddyurappa camp sought Eshwarappa's expulsion from the party. This, however, triggered a feud within the BJP with Eshwarappa, a loyalist turned detractor, revolting against Yeddyurappa.

"We can live with all that, but not his dictatorial approach", said KS Eshwarappa, who has emerged as Mr Yeddyurappa's most senior in-house critic.

Former Minister Sogadu Shivanna and former Bengaluru Mayor Venkatesh Murthy and others are participating in the meeting. Reiterating his stand that he is not challenging Yeddyurappa's leadership and is eager to work for the party to make Yeddyurappa the next Chief Minister, Eshwarappa said, "Our endeavour is to save the party from destruction as Yeddyurappa is neglecting loyal old-timers and acting to the tunes of a coterie that had deserted BJP along with him when he formed his KJP".

It may be recalled here that Yeddyurappa spearheaded the election campaign in both the constituencies and party leaders, especially K.S. Eshwarappa, were critical of Yeddyurappa's "autocratic" style of functioning after the defeat.

B S Yeddyurappa supporter was thrashed by his BJP workers on camera in Bengaluru. At the convention, Eshwarappa said nothing conciliatory. When Bhanuprakash called Yeddyurappa "unfit" it angered a BSY. At this point, Eshwarappa's supporters dragged him out of the meeting and even manhandled him. "Yeddyurappa is misusing Shah's name to threaten us", he said. "If you think you can do anything and get away with it, you are mistaken", Eshwarappa said, throwing an open challenge to Yeddyurappa. "We are bringing everything to the notice of the party central leadership".

The return of Yeddyurappa to the BJP consolidated the Lingayat vote base of the party again in the 2014 general elections, where the BJP rode the Modi wave to win 17 of the 28 Lok Sabha seats in the state. The leaders attended the meeting despite a stern warning from the senior leadership against such meetings.

Not one to give in easily, Yeddyurappa said he would collect video footage of today's meeting and take them to Shah.

Other reports by VgToday

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