BJP’s search for alternative leadership on in Belagavi

Eranna Kadadi, one of the two candidates (the other being Ashok Gasti from Raichur), for the Rajya Sabha polls.

Eranna Kadadi, one of the two candidates (the other being Ashok Gasti from Raichur), for the Rajya Sabha polls.  

The choice of Eranna Kadadi is also being seen as a snub to its State unit

The Bharatiya Janata Party high command’s decision to field a lesser-known candidate from Belagavi for the Rajya Sabha polls, besides being a snub to the party’s State unit and Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, is also being seen as an attempt to find an alternative leadership in the large district of Belagavi, which has been an influx of leaders from other parties into the BJP fold.

The choice of old-time party worker and former Belagavi Zilla Panchayat president Eranna Kadadi as one of the two candidates (the other being Ashok Gasti from Raichur) for the Rajya Sabha polls has trigged speculation that the party could still be searching for credible leadership within Belagavi.

Recently, the party got prominent Congress leader Ramesh Jharkiholi into its fold along with his followers including Athani MLA Mahesh Kumatalli. However, taking a cautious route, the party high command had roped in Laxman Savadi and tried to groom him by making him Deputy Chief Minister despite him losing the Assembly elections. However, the strategy is yet to yield desired results as Mr. Savadi is still struggling to project himself as a leader who could become a rallying point for others, say party insiders.

Many leaders say that the thinking is strengthening the party cadre at a time when there is influx of leaders from other parties. This would mean that the party is trying to retain the character of its organization by bringing in old-time party workers to the frontline, the insiders observe.

RSS push

RSS leaders are said to have influenced the nomination of Mr. Kadadi and Mr. Gasti, according to leaders in Belagavi. “Mr. Kadadi enjoys good rapport with State and national-level RSS leaders. He is soft spoken and non controversial. He remains in touch with all sections of the party and is therefore seen as a go-between during disputes and carrier of confidential messages,” said a leader.

Unanimous election?

The decision of the BJP high command to field only two candidates is likely to result in unopposed election of all the four candidates without any need for polls if no other candidate files nominations.

While JD(S) national president H.D. Deve Gowda is filing his nominations today, veteran Congress leader Mallikarnjun Kharge already filed his nominations on Monday. This too has puzzled many leaders in the BJP as they are unable to understand whether it is a political gesture in favour of Mr. Gowda or a simple decision to desist from taking political risks of fielding an additional candidate.

Katti thanks party

Ramesh Katti, an aspirant for RS ticket whose name had been suggested by the State unit, released a video message to his followers congratulating Eranna Kadadi and thanking the party leadership for choosing an ordinary worker to the Upper House. Mr. Katti said he would cooperate with Mr. Kadadi and work with him in strengthening the party. His brother Umesh Katti has been a Ministerial aspirant.

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2020 9:46:43 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/bjps-search-for-alternative-leadership-on-in-belagavi/article31783135.ece

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