Bengaluru: The factional fight within the State BJP is showing no sign of scaling down with Leader of the Opposition in the Council K.S. Eshwarappa attending a rebels’ meet at the Palace Grounds this morning.
Addressing the rally, Eshwarappa dared Yeddyurappa to take disciplinary action against him. Accusing the State Chief of branding genuine party workers as rebels and anti-party activists, Eshwarappa said that the party will not survive if the same “dictatorial” attitude towards party workers continued. “I dare Yeddyurappa to take disciplinary action against me and we will show that we too have sacrificed for the party and our contributions matter too,” Eshwarappa roared amidst thunderous applause from the gathering.
“Yeddyurappa must not act like a dictator and he must take all party leaders into confidence. RSS workers and BJP grass-root workers have laid their lives for the party and their sacrifices are being forgotten by some petty-minded individuals and selfish groups,” he said.
“As you are a genuine party leader, we too are loyalists to BJP and will be so till our last breath. Unfortunately, those who have worked for the party since decades are being pushed to the wall. Yeddyurappa, with the support of a handful new-comers, is ignoring genuine party workers and he is not even listening to the party high command. This must stop if the party has to win the 2018 Assembly elections,” Eshwarappa said.
“Yeddyurappa has not changed his style of functioning. The campaign strategy for the Nanjangud and Gundlupet by-polls turned into a personal show of Yeddyurappa,” Eshwarappa charged. “It will be impossible to realise BJP’s ‘Mission 150’ in 2018 if Yeddyurappa refuses to change his style of functioning,” he added.
The meeting was organised by a section of party workers as part of their campaign to “Save BJP” despite stern warning by State unit President B.S. Yeddyurappa’s camp of initiating disciplinary action.
Interestingly, what was supposed to be a meeting of Sangolli Rayanna Brigade has transformed into “Save BJP” meeting.
Emboldened by the recent setback for BJP in the by-elections in Gundlupet and Nanjangud, the anti-Yeddyurappa faction convened the Convention.
It may be recalled here that Yeddyurappa spearheaded the election campaign in both the constituencies and party leaders, especially K.S. Eshwarappa, were critical of Yeddyurappa’s ‘autocratic’ style of functioning after the defeat.
As the meeting began, former MLC from Shivamogga Bhanuprakash spoke against Yeddyurappa and said that he was violating the instructions from BJP National President Amit Shah. Despite Shah instructing Yeddyurappa not to take unilateral decisions, party workers and leaders are not being taken into confidence.
As Bhanuprakash was speaking, a supporter of Yeddyurappa hurled abuses at him. At this point, Eshwarappa’s supporters dragged him out of the meeting and even manhandled him.
Former Minister Sogadu Shivanna and former Bengaluru Mayor Venkatesh Murthy and others are participating in the meeting. The dissidents are likely to take a decision to take out ‘Delhi Chalo’ Train Yatra to complain to Amit Shah against Yeddyurappa.