Karnataka by-poll: Dissent brews in BJP

Our Bureau Bengaluru | Updated on November 19, 2019 Published on November 19, 2019

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is besieged with rebellion in 7-8 seats of the 15 Karnataka Assembly constituencies which are going to by-elections on December 5. The party must win eight seats to ensure a majority in the House.

By-election was necessitated following 15 rebel MLAs belonging to Congress and Janata Dal-Secular JD(S) resigning and later joining the BJP.

Rebellious MPs

After the deadline to file nomination ended on Monday, the BJP is facing severe rebellion in 7-8 seats and there is no cohesion among its workers, local leaders and the official candidates.

The new migrants from Congress and JD(S) are facing a Herculean task as was evident in the constituencies of Hoskote, Athani, Gokak, Kagwad, Vijayanagar, Ranebennur, Yellapur and Mahalakshmi Layout.

Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, along with his sons BY Raghevandar and BY Vijayendra, is on a pacifying mode .

Yediyurappa, angered by the stubborn attitude of Sharat Bache Gowda (son of BN Bache Gowda, BJP MP from Chikkaballapura constituency) in Hoskote, urged Bache Gowda to reign in his son, but to no avail. Sharat Gowda, who has filed his nomination as an Independent, is contesting against BJP’s official candidate MTB Nagaraju. Here, JD(S) has offered to back Sharat Gowda as part of larger Vokkaliga consolidation.

In Athani, Gokak, Kagwad all in Belagavi district of north Karnataka, BJP is facing the heat of growing dissent among the party leaders and workers.

Party in-fighting

The supporters of Deputy Chief Minister Lakshman Savadi in Athani are up in arms for giving ticket to Mahesh Kumathalli. In Gokak, too, the entry of Ramesh Jarkiholi has triggered BJP’s Ashok Pujar shifting camps and creating problems for the BJP.

In Kagwad, senior BJP leader and four-time MLA Raju Kage shifted allegiance and joined Congress and is now contesting against Shrimant Patil. In Belagavi, efforts of Union minister Suresh Angadi, State Industries Minister Ashok Shettar and MLA Kavatagimath have failed.

In Vijayanagara constituency of Ballari district, Kaviraj Urs — a BJP ticket aspirant — is giving sleepless nights to the party’s official candidate Anand Singh.

Meanwhile, the BJP leaders are still finding it tough to convince disgruntled leaders in Ranebennur to fall in line where a Lingayat Mutt Seer has entered the fray by joining JD(S), surprising all.

Yellapur, which is used to see direct fight between BJP and Congress, is now seeing a triangular fight with JD(S) fielding Chaitra Gowda and nine more fling nominations.

In Mahalakshmi Layout in Bengaluru city, to accommodate K Gopalaiah, BJP senior leaders had to pacify NL Narendra Babu and few Sangh Parivar members.

Published on November 19, 2019
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