Karnataka: Split wide open between BJP's BS Yeddyurappa and KS Eshwarappa

KS Eshwarappa held a convention to 'save' the party in which more than 24 disgruntled leaders also took part.

The feud in the state BJP intensified today after Leader of the Opposition in the Council KS Eshwarappa (KSE) held a convention purportedly to 'save' the party. This was done in direct defiance to state president BS Yeddyurappa (BSY) who had warned against any such anti-party activities. More than 24 disgruntled leaders also took part in the convention that was held at the Palace Grounds.

Eshwarappa spoke about how all the workers were thrilled when BSY was made the state president but are allegedly upset today with his 'dictatorial' and 'unilateral' style of functioning. To them the same BSY, who had all through his career opposed caste based politics, is now following just that. "All the members who were a part of KJP have been given prominent positions in the state BJP rather than those who have been loyal for decades," KSE tells India Today.

He further blamed BSY for not following the instructions given by BJP national president Amit Shah during a meeting that was held in Delhi, where he set up a four-member team to revise the list of office bearers that had been prepared unilaterally by BSY and also to douse dissidence in the party by February 10.

KSE has now threatened the state leadership that if no action is taken by May 10, then he will be forced to hold a major convention on May 20 to decide their future course of action.

However, he still stands by what was decided by the state and national leadership that BSY will lead the party in the 2018 state election and will also be its chief ministerial candidate. He does not accept the fact that there is in-fighting in the party but rather it's a fight to save the party ideals.

The convention was not without its fair share of drama. While senior leaders were addressing those who had gathered, a supporter of BSY stormed towards the dais accusing the leaders present of insulting BSY. Shiva, a local BJP worker was thrashed by members of his own party when he objected to MLC Bhanuprakash calling BSY 'unfit.' He was then pushed and thrown out of the venue clearly showing the fissures in the party.

BJP'S MISSION 150 DOUBTFUL?

Bengaluru city BJP MLAs later hurriedly addressed a press conference and lambasted KSE for organising the convention against party rules. They claimed that he was damaging the party's name in the state prior to the 2018 polls. "We are here to fight the Congress and JD(S)," says BJP MLA Dr CN Ashwathnarayan, instead KSE is fighting within the party and might affect the morale of the cadres. He has further called for KSE's expulsion from the party since this 'nonsense cannot be tolerated anymore.'

Stating that KSE had no permission to organise such a convention, BJP MLA YA Narayana Swamy says that he had ample opportunities to bring all this up in the core committee meetings but he never did it. As of now, the Yeddy faction leaders say that the high command is closely monitoring the situation and will take appropriate action.

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