The Bharatiya Janata Party tried to play down the episode of Lokayukta raids on the residences of its State president and Deputy Chief Minister K.S. Eshwarappa as well as his close aides. “Conducting raids is a normal and routine process after registering the private complaint,” was the party’s refrain in a formal statement issued here after the raids.

In the release, the party expressed confidence that Mr. Eshwarappa would come out clean from the episode of “politically motivated charges” levelled against him.

It pointed out that Mr. Eshwarappa himself has welcomed the raid and verification of documents at this residence by the Lokayukta officials by maintaining that such a process would brining out the truth.

A few weeks ago, the BJP central leadership was divided on appointing a full-time president for the party by replacing Mr. Eshwarappa. The leaders opposing the idea of finding a replacement for Mr. Eshwarappa were of the view that it is better to continue him in the post as it would be difficult for the new person to get a grip over the party at a time when it has to brace-up for the crucial elections.

Now the political circles are curious to know if the BJP central leaders would go ahead with the proposal to find an alternative to Mr. Eshwarappa in the wake of the raids or ask him to quit the ministry and focus on the party.

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