Team of office-bearers to be formed soon
BANGALORE: D.V. Sadananda Gowda was formally declared the Bharatiya Janata Party State unit president at the party's State council meeting here on Sunday. The party's central leaders, however, cautioned the State unit on the need to resolve internal differences. These should not be discussed outside the party forum, they said. Mr. Sadananda Gowda, who has been elected unopposed, would get a term of three years. He would soon form a team of office-bearers after consulting the party leaders.
In an obvious reference to the tussle between the factions headed by general secretary H.N. Ananth Kumar and Deputy Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa backing their own candidates for the post, senior party leader M. Venkaiah Naidu said that "the episode went out of proportion." He warned the party leaders against indulging in "loose talk" about their colleagues and asked them to confine intra-party differences to the party fora.
Despite the warning, there were indications that the tussle between the rival camps might continue. While Mr. Venkaiah Naidu remarked in a lighter vein that "Sadananda" (meaning "ever happy" in Kannada) Gowda would give happiness to the party, Mr. Ananth Kumar insisted that Mr. Sadananda Gowda should give happiness to "everybody" and take all the party workers together with him.
Mr. Sadananda Gowda promised that he would work to carry everyone together. Pointing out that he had been criticised for restricting his activities to Mangalore, Bangalore and Delhi by a section of leaders, Mr. Sadananda Gowda said he would rectify such lapses.
Mr. Venkaiah Naidu hailed the performance of the coalition Government in the State and said the performance of the BJP Ministers was satisfactory. The BJP central leaders were happy with the performance of the party Ministers, especially the budget presented by Mr. Yediyurappa, he noted.
In his address, Mr. Yediyurappa chose to reply to his detractors. "Those who themselves do not work are criticising me," he said. "I do not need anybody's certificate. It will be enough if the party workers are happy with my work," he said.
Nevertheless, the shadow of dissidence still hangs over the party. Mr. Yediyurappa and Mr. Ananth Kumar are learnt to have indulged in a verbal duel just before the commencement of the party State council meeting.
According to sources in the BJP, the heated exchange of words took place in front of the party central leaders, Mr. Venkaiah Naidu, Omprakash Mathur and Tavarchand Gehlot. Mr. Ananth Kumar is said to have proposed that his followers, Aravind Limbavali and Basavaraj Patil Yatnal, should be appointed as national council members. Mr. Yediyurappa reportedly opposed the proposal on the grounds that the party central leadership had taken note of the dissident activities by these leaders.