War in K’taka BJP: BSY says only aim to win polls, targets 150 seats

Shimoga (Karnataka): Amid the bitter feud brewing within the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Karnataka unit, state party chief BS Yeddyurappa on Sunday pinned his hope on his colleague P Muralidhar Rao and said the saffron party’s only aim was to secure majority in the upcoming Assembly elections.

Rao, who is in-charge of the BJP’s affairs in Karnataka, has been sent by BJP president Amit Shah to sort out the warring factions – one headed by Yeddyurappa and the other by KS Eshwarappa.

“I don’t want to discuss anything about the present development. Our president Amit Shah has already sent Muralidhar Rao, the state in charge, to judge the situation and submit a report.We just have the target of 150 in our mind. Nothing else,” Yeddyurappa told ANI.

The former Chief Minister’s remark came even as 4 BJP office-bearers were relieved from their functions from the party on Thursday.

Party functionaries MB Bhanuprakash, Nirmal Kumar Surana, M.P. Renukacharya and G Madhusudan were relieved of their posts.

“In the backdrop of the recent developments in the party, Vice Presidents of state unit Bhanuprakash and Nirmal Kumar Surana, Vice President of Raitha Morcha M P Renukacharya and Spokesperson G Madhusudhan have been relieved from all responsibilities of the party with immediate effect,” State BJP General Secretary N Ravi Kumar said in a statement last night.

On Thursday, around 24 party leaders held a ‘Save BJP’ conference under Eshwarappa and criticised the leadership of Yeddyurappa.

While Bhanuprakash and Nirmal Kumar Surana had shared the stage with Eshwarappa at the convention, Renukacharya and G Madhusudhan considered close to Yeddyurappa had made public statements targeting National Joint General Secretary (Organisation) BL Santhosh.

Calling the convention an “anti-party activity,” Yeddyurappa had also blamed Santhosh, considered to hold significant sway over party affairs in the state, for scripting it.

Resentment has been brewing within the party over Yeddyurappa’s alleged “unilateral” style of functioning following the appointment of party office-bearers and over “ignoring” loyal workers and the old guard of the party.

Fissures within the Karnataka unit have become a problem for the central leadership which is hoping for revival of party’s fortunes in the Assembly polls early next year.

Forming its first-ever government in the south, BJP had ruled the state from 2008 to 2013 which saw three chief ministers, factional wars and corruption charges leading to Congress’s return to power.