Intensifying factional feud irks BJP high command

The scheduled arrival of BJP State in charge Arun Singh in Bengaluru on Wednesday has intensified factional politics in the saffron party with the rival camps of those loyal to Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa and those opposed to him getting ready to plead their case before him.

This is believed to have irritated the party high command which is sending Mr. Singh on a troubleshooting exercise. The central leadership is said to be particularly concerned about the timing of the development when the State is yet to come out of the clutches of COVID-19. “The high command is not averse to initiate disciplinary action against legislators who violate discipline if they fail to desist from issuing public statements that show the party in poor light,” said a leader, who is in touch with the central leadership.

While the rival camps are getting ready to plead their case before Mr. Singh, party sources said that nothing much will happen during his stay in Bengaluru as he is expected to only relay inputs collected here to the central leadership.

Legislators close to the Chief Minister said they will meet Mr. Singh on June 17, and that they were yet to decide on handing over the signatures of legislators collected earlier.

Last week, in a show of strength, CM’s political secretary M.P. Renukacharya said they had signatures of 65 legislators who expressed solidarity with the veteran BJP leader.

Ahead of Mr. Singh’s arrival, seers of various Lingayat mutts across the State have also expressed support to Mr. Yediyurappa’s leadership.

The camp opposed to the Chief Minister has been trying to convince the central leadership over the alleged interference of B.Y. Vijayendra, son of the Chief Minister, and the functioning of the State administration, and has been pushing for a legislative party meeting. However, sources said that though legislators have been asked to meet Mr. Singh, no such meeting is on the agenda.

Eshwarappa reacts

Meanwhile, Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister K.S. Eshwarappa said the confusion in the party was due to the entry of 17 Congress-JD(S) legislators.

“The confusion would not have been there if the BJP had majority on its own. Confusion is also there because of statements of C.P. Yogeshwar, Basanagouda Patil Yatnal, and Mr. Renukacharya, and the visit of Arvind Bellad to Delhi. Based on this, the leadership has sent Mr. Singh to hear the legislators and Ministers within the four walls,” he told reporters at Sirsi in Uttara Kannada district.

Agriculture Minister B.C. Patil in Mysuru hit out at Mr. Eshwarappa and reminded him that the BJP government came to power only due to the “sacrifice” made by the 17 legislators, who joined the saffron party after resigning their seats in the Legislative Assembly.

“Mr. Eshwarappa is a senior member of the party. I don’t know why he has said so. But, it is because of the 17 MLAs (new entrants) that the BJP has come to power in Karnataka. Mr. Yediyurappa is the Chief Minister and Mr. Eshwarappa is the Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj because of our contribution and sacrifice,” said Mr Patil, flanked by Cooperation Minister S.T. Somashekar, who was also among the 17 new entrants to the BJP.

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Printable version | Aug 4, 2021 5:55:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/intensifying-factional-feud-irks-bjp-high-command/article34825483.ece

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