Ravindra is president of Kodagu unit BJP

Staff Correspondent

His appointment triggers discontent in the district unit

Ravindra is the first person from Virajpet taluk to be appointed to the post

Bopaiah and Appachu Ranjan had thrown their weight behind Kushalappa

Madikeri: Machimada M. Ravindra from Virajpet taluk has been chosen the new president of the Kodagu unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party.

The decision made by State BJP president K.S. Eshwarappa in Bangalore was conveyed to Mr. Ravindra on Tuesday.

An engineering graduate, Mr. Ravindra worked as a lecturer at Gonicoppa before joining politics. He was the State Yuva Morcha leader and president of the Virajpet taluk unit of the party. At 40, Mr. Ravindra is the youngest president of the BJP Kodagu unit and the first to be chosen from Virajpet taluk.

Mr. Ravindra's appointment, however, has led to discontent in BJP ranks, as there were several persons who were contenders for the post, including Shanteyanda Ravi Kushalappa. While Mr. Kushalappa refused to comment on the development, Speaker K.G. Bopaiah, who is also Virajpet MLA, and Madikeri MLA M.P. Appachu Ranjan have supported him.

Others in the race were M.B. Devaiah, B.D. Manjunath, Bellu Somaiah, Ravi Kalappa, Robin Devaiah and Shuja Kushalppa, younger brother of Mr. Ranjan.Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Ravindra said he would abide by the decision of the party leaders. Organising the party from the grass roots and working for the all-round development of the district would be his priorities, he added.

The term of current president M.P. Sunil Subramani, youngest brother of Mr. Ranjan, ended in December 2009. Mr. Subramani had made it clear that he was not interested in a second term.

Mr. Kushalappa was a keen contender last time as well and the tussle for post had nearly divided the party in Kodagu then. Mr. Bopaiah and H.D. Basavaraj, who was the Virajpet MLA then, had even offered to resign in the wake of the controversy.