Saturday, July 13, 2024

yediyurappa: Congress in touch with BJP MLAs, says ex-CM Yediyurappa

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Veteran BJP leader BS Yediyurappa on Sunday cautioned his party leaders not to take the Congress lightly, warning them about the consistent efforts by the Opposition party to woo some of the BJP MLAs.

The 78-year old leader’s remarks echoed concerns within the party that some of those MLAs who deserted the Congress may ditch the BJP and return ahead of the assembly polls. These concerns have heightened in the BJP after the party witnessed a spate of resignations in its West Bengal unit by leaders who have returned to TMC.

The former chief minister, speaking at the BJP state executive meeting at Davanagere, said he has credible information that Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president DK Shivakumar had been in touch with some party MLAs.

Yediyurappa’s remarks in the presence of BJP national general secretary Arun Singh reflected the nervousness within the party as its two-year old government is a product of 17 MLAs who joined the party after quitting the Congress and JD(S). That some of Bommai’s cabinet colleagues were sworn loyalists of Opposition leader Siddaramaiah is well-known.

Yediyurappa said a few more elections are due before the assembly elections that are due in less than two years, and Congress has been on the prowl, working on its own set of electoral strategies. The BJP, he added, will have to work harder to win at least 140 seats (out of 224 seats).

Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi repeated Home Minister Amit Shah’s statement that the BJP in Karnataka will face the assembly polls under Bommai’s leadership. He, however, added that there are no restrictions on Yediyurappa to strengthen the party cadre.

Joshi’s comments in response to reports that the BJP has been unhappy about Yediyurappa’s proposed tour of Karnataka on the pretext of rebuilding the party base.

Party leaders have been concerned that the former CM could embarrass the party with his utterances if allowed to undertake a tour on his own.

Sources in the BJP said the party might broaden Yediyurappa’s campaign plans by giving it a structure, a purpose and adding some more leaders like former CM Jagadish Shettar to the team with specific tasks.

Yediyurappa stepped down as chief minister on July 26 after a two year stint, and is said to be sulking ever since. The party has not assigned him any organisational responsibilities either.

The former CM has always projected his son BY Vijayendra as his political heir, and sources in the BJP believe the veteran Lingayat leader would not do anything in haste that would spoil his son’s political career in the BJP.

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