Free for all at BJP meeting in Kolar
Taluk members dissatisfied with district president Lakshmaiah’s style of functioning
Disapproval expressed against BJP leader N Lakshmaiah by members of a faction during a district-level meeting of the party on Saturday led to a ruckus and fight between factions.
The meeting was organised on R V School campus on the outskirts of the City.
Legislators Y Sampangi, Y A Narayanaswamy, Nandish Reddy and D S Veeraiah, Karnataka Sports Authority chairperson Girish Patel, and leader Surendra Gowda, who were present, tried to pacify the roused faction members, but could only remain mute spectators. The agitators continued to abuse one another verbally and even hit with anything within reach- chairs, helmets, pots.
Many of the members who attended the meeting were injured due to the fight and the helpless leaders could only postpone the meeting and walk out. Other leaders, who remained behind tried again twice to organise the meeting, but the members continued their fights even then.
The district-level meeting, scheduled to begin at 10.30 am, began only by noon.
When the welcome speech began, Shiva Reddy, Srinivaspur taluk president of the party, said with ire that district unit president N Lakshmaiah had no right to take the dais.
The sudden accusal only fired the anger among Lakshmaiah’s supporters. BJP Youth Forum president Om Shakthi Chalapathi and members Vijaya Kumar, Narasimhamurthy, Keelukote Ravi and others rushed at Reddy, trying to push him out of the meeting venue.
This, however, spurred a fight among the members of the various factions attending the meeting.
Party members from Srinivaspur, Kolar and Mulbagal taluks as well as Kolar Gold Fields too expressed their dissatisfaction with the working style of Lakshmaiah all at once, which further aggravated the situation.
The members divided themselves into groups attacking one another.
Lakshmaiah was blamed for not having organised a single meeting although he has been the district-level president of the BJP for three to four years.
“He takes important decisions after discussing with only a few of his close associates. He has completely ignored other members, activists and office-bearers. In contrast, he only uses a gang of street fighters and indulges in insulting diligent activists,” Shiva Reddy, Sugatur Chalapathi, C D Ramachandra Gowda, Market Kempanna, Somashekhar, Manjunath, Harapanayakanahalli Venkatesh said, repeatedly.
Legislators Sampangi, Y A Narayanaswamy, Veeraiah and Nandish Reddy walked out of the meeting venue and gathered in a classroom of the school.
Reddy, who came out after some time, called the incident unfortunate. “The higher authorities in the party will be informed and strict action will be taken against those responsible for the ruckus. The meeting will be rescheduled,” he added, before leaving the place.
Shiva Reddy and his supporters, however, continued to express their dissatisfaction.
Lakshmaiah, in contrast, remained silent throughout the tumult.
When the situation cooled down a little, futile attempts were made to restart the meeting.
Senior party leader V Hanumappa spoke to the members gathered and said he was unhappy about the occurrence. “The diligent, local activists and members have to face a lot of trouble due to the lack of coordination among the State and National level leaders in the party,” he said.