Staff Correspondent

It was convened to discuss why Medappa lost Council poll

Madikeri: There was chaos at a meeting of Bharatiya Janata Party workers and leaders held at Bal Bhavan here on Thursday. The meeting was convened to introspect why the party candidate S.G. Medappa faced defeat in the election to the Legislative Council from the Kodagu local authorities constituency.

President of the Madikeri City Municipal Council (CMC) P.D. Ponnappa, former president of the Madikeri Taluk Panchayat Kishore Kumar, CMC councillors Unnikrishnan and others heckled Mr. Medappa and the district organising committee secretary of the BJP B.D. Manjunath for convening the meeting without the knowledge of the Kodagu BJP president M.P. Sunil Subramani and Madikeri MLA M.P. Appachu Ranjan.

The vice-president of the district BJP Kodi Ponnappa and another functionary K.A. Poovaiah and the president of the Madikeri unit Mohan Monnappa were mute spectators to the chaotic scenes at the meeting.

Joining them, a BJP functionary from Polibetta P. Bopanna sought explanation from Mr. Medappa alleging that someone in the party had issued a statement in a particular newspaper that he (Mr. Bopanna) was provided with money to be distributed among the voters in and around Polibetta to cast their votes in favour of Mr. Medappa.

Pandemonium prevailed in the meeting when Mr. Ponnappa and the office secretary of the BJP A.K. Palaksha, and others said they would not allow Mr. Medappa and Mr. Manjunath to leave the meeting hall if they did not answer their questions convincingly.

They demanded to know why Mr. Medappa had convened a press conference the day after the election results were announced. They alleged that Mr. Medappa had blamed the “BJP leaders in Kodagu” for his defeat in the Council elections. Efforts made by the district general secretary of the party Ravi Kushalappa to restore order failed.

President of the Virajpet taluk unit of the BJP M.M. Ravindra intervened and said Mr. Medappa will explain to the workers the reasons for his defeat and also give clarification about the newspaper report of the alleged handing over of money to Mr. Bopanna.

Mr. Medappa said he had addressed the press conference only to thank the party workers. He had not said anything beyond that, he claimed. Unconvinced, the party workers said that Mr. Medappa had accused senior leaders in the BJP of being responsible for his defeat. They said that Mr. Manajunath was responsible for the “lapses”.

Zilla panchayat members A.P. Ranjan Chengappa and Lokeshwari Gopal were present.

President of the Kodagu BJP Subramani, party spokesman M.B. Devaiah and the State committee member Robin Devaiah arrived at the spot later to pacify the agitated workers.

Mr. Subramani told presspersons that workers had acted in haste because they were pained at the defeat of Mr. Medappa.

He admitted that he was not informed of Thursday’s meeting but added that “all is well in the party”.

The issue of defeat in Council polls will be debated upon and reasons for the defeat would be discussed threadbare at the party forum, he added.