With president of the district unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Basavanagouda Byagwat issuing show-cause notices to seven members of the city municipal council (CMC), who were elected on the BJP ticket, seeking explanation for their alleged anti-party activities, the hidden differences and conflicts within the party appear to have come to the fore.

In his notice, Mr. Byagwat has asked the seven members why disciplinary actions should not be taken against them for anti-party activities as they were openly supporting the Congress in the CMC and visiting the wards with members of that party, and has given a seven-day deadline for them to respond.

The differences in the city unit widened after the election of the president and vice-president to the CMC on September 6. As the president’s post was reserved for Scheduled Tribes (ST), Mahadevamma, an Independent and the only member from Scheduled Tribes community in the 35-member House, was elected unanimously, and the Congress member, Padma Srinivas, was elected the vice-president.

In the 35-member House, no party had secured a clear majority with the Congress bagging 14 seats, the Janata Dal (Secular) nine, the BJP seven and Independents five.

All the seven members of BJP were allegedly associated with the former BJP legislator A. Papareddy, who is now with the Congress. Even after the election of president and vice-president, the BJP members continued to associate themselves with the Congress. Their open defiance by visiting the wards and sharing platforms offended the BJP leaders, who have in turn, slammed notices to the councillors.

“I have, days ago, issued show-cause notices to all the seven BJP members in the CMC. None responded to it so far. We will take appropriate action after receiving their responses,” Mr. Basavanagowda Byagwat told The Hindu .

However, the councillors categorically denied their alleged association either with Mr. Papareddy or with the Congress. They alleged that BJP district leaders themselves had shown them a green signal for supporting the Congress in the floor, if the Congress were to fall short of a majority.

About their visit to wards with Congress members, Narasappa Yaklaspur, president of the BJP city unit and also member of CMC, said “Being elected representatives, we visited flooded areas in the city and by coincidence, the Congress members too came there. How can that be considered anti-party activity?” he asked. He claimed that he had clarified the matter to to the BJP State president, Pralhad Joshi.

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