BJP executive meet empowers State chief to discipline leaders

BJP national general secretaries Arun Singh and C.T. Ravi, Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, and party State president Nalin Kumar Kateel at the executive committee meeting in Belagavi on Saturday.  

Amidst increasing reports of groupism and one-upmanship, the State executive committee meeting of the BJP ended in Belagavi on Saturday with a resolution to empower the president to constitute committees to rein in leaders who flout party discipline and shoot off their mouth in public.

The meeting also resolved to ask the State government to pass laws against cow slaughter and “love jihad”. The other resolution was to ensure that BJP-backed candidates win in at least 80% of gram panchayats.

Captain Ganesh Karnik, spokesperson, told journalists the two laws were “essential to protect the Hindu society”. He said several members had felt it necessary to have an internal discipline committee that would reprimand leaders who spoke against the party in public.

Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai said officers would study the anti “love jihad” Bill passed in Uttar Pradesh to understand its focus. He said the earlier attempts by the State government at banning cow slaughter were stopped by the then Governor in 2012. “There is an anti cow slaughter law in Karnataka already. We need to update it with some new provisions that ensure effective implementation,” he said.

On the election committee, to be formed ahead of gram panchayat polls, Mr. Karnik said it will have senior leaders, youth and strategists. “Party president Nalin Kumar Kateel would announce the chairpersons and other members of the two committees soon,” he said.

The police had made tight security arrangements at the venue of the State executive committee meeting in Gandhi Bhavan. Of around 500 members in the committee, only around 130 were allowed to attend, in view of the COVID-19 scare.

Apart from Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa and national general secretaries Arun Singh and C.T. Ravi, Mr. Kateel, Deputy Chief Ministers Govind Karjol, Laxman Savadi, and C.N. Ashwath Narayan, yuva morcha president Tejaswi Surya, and others attended the meeting.

Singh tight-lipped about expansion

BJP national general secretary Arun Singh remained tight-lipped about the party’s message to the Chief Minister regarding the much-debated and delayed Cabinet expansion.

“That is an internal matter of the party. It cannot be discussed before the media,” he said. Earlier, Mr. Yediyurappa had said that he would decide on Cabinet expansion after receiving the message sent by the party high command through Mr. Singh.

Mr. Singh met Mr. Yediyurappa and the three Deputy Chief Ministers separately, apparently over this matter. B.Y. Vijayendra, party vice-president and Mr. Yediyurappa’s son, was present.

Go ahead?

Some party leaders, who did not wish to be named, said that Mr. Singh had asked Mr. Yediyurappa to go ahead with the Cabinet expansion, without suggesting any change in names picked by the latter.

It is being said that Umesh Katti and C.P. Yogeshwar may be inducted into the Cabinet, along with defectors R. Shankar, N. Nagaraju (MTB), and Muniratna. A party member said this would be announced in a few days in Bengaluru. “There are no plans to drop any member from the Cabinet,” said the leader.

Three of the 14 core committee members remained absent. Union minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda, Karnataka in charge D.K. Aruna, and octogenarian former Minister C.M. Udasi, did not attend the core committee meeting.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2021 4:39:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/bjp-executive-meet-empowers-state-chief-to-discipline-leaders/article33260018.ece

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