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Gulbarga BJP unit divided over selection of party chief

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COMMOTION: Senior leaders of the BJP walking out of the meeting after trouble broke out between supporters of different factions over the election of the president of the party in Gulbarga on Thursday.
COMMOTION: Senior leaders of the BJP walking out of the meeting after trouble broke out between supporters of different factions over the election of the president of the party in Gulbarga on Thursday.

Special Correspondent

Different factions nearly came to blows before the police intervened

  • One group of supporters opposed selection of Amarnath Patil for the post
  • Senior party leaders were heckled and not allowed to make speeches

    GULBARGA: Differences among senior party leaders on the choice of president of the district unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came out in the open with supporters of different factions nearly coming to blows in the presence of the party observers, including BJP MLC Manohar Maski and N. Shankarappa.

    Ugly scenes of a slogan-shouting match between supporters of the incumbent Shashil G. Namoshi, MLC, and two other aspirants Rajkumar Telkur and Amarnath Patil marred the function in which the two observers and Animal Husbandry Minister Revu Naik; Sunil Valyapur, MLA; and other senior leaders were present to announce the new president. The function was organised to felicitate the newly-appointed presidents and general secretaries of the different taluks.

    The factions supporting Mr. Namoshi and Mr. Telkur were upset with the decision of the district-level coordination committee of senior leaders that selected Mr. Patil as president.

    The trouble started immediately after the meeting began with supporters of Mr. Namoshi and Mr. Telkur not allowing leaders to deliver their speeches in the meeting by raising slogans against party observers and Mr. Revu Naik and Mr. Amarnath Patil. Later, the supporters of Mr. Patil joined the din raising slogans supporting Mr. Patil and Mr. Naik.

    Supporters of Mr. Namoshi and Mr. Telkur climbed onto the stage and started heckling senior leaders of the party. They wanted the observers to consult the newly-elected taluk presidents on the selection of the district president and said the issue of elections should not be left to the coordination committee. When things started getting out of hand and the supporters nearly came to blows, policemen marched into the meeting hall and cleared the stage. Senior leaders, including Mr. Naik, Mr. Maski, Mr. Shankarappa, Mr. Valyapur and Mr. Namoshi, left the meeting hall without making any announcement about the election of the new president. Earlier, Mr. Telkur along with his supporters staged a walkout from the meeting in protest against the decision of the coordination committee to nominate Mr. Patil to the top post.

    The coordination committee, which had met at the residence of Mr. Maski in the morning, after prolonged discussions decided to nominate Mr. Patil as the district president, since a majority of those present in the committee had expressed their support for him. Mr. Telkur and Mr. Mahantagowda Patil failed to secure the requisite support from the committee members. Even during the coordination committee meeting there was commotion with supporters of Mr. Namoshi and Mr. Telkur opposing the decision of the party to con

    Later, Mr. Maski and Mr. Shankarappa formally announced the nomination of Mr. Patil as president of the district unit of the party at another function.

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