Absentees upset Advani

Absentees upset Advani

BJP veteran sore over Yeddyurappa loyalists skipping Jan Chetana Yatra

Crowd-puller: BJP members welcome party leader L K Advani in Mangalore on Monday. DH photo

But, the State leaders have left it to the Central leaders to decide as to how the party should handle those who have openly defied the direction to attend Advani’s rally in Bangalore on Sunday. 

Almost all the supporters of jailed former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa boycotted the rally. Even Minister Shobha Karandlaje, who belongs to the RSS cadre, kept off. Shobha, a native of Puttur, did not make it to the ‘Jan Chetana Yatra’ even in Mangalore and Udupi on Monday.

Advani is unhappy with the supporters of Yeddyurappa in the State Cabinet, who consciously decided to keep away from the Bangalore meeting. He has reportedly asked the State leaders as to why some of the ministers kept off, while the legislators and workers made it.

Though Advani wanted to know the men who prompted the boycott, he did not get an answer as none of the State leaders dared to name Yeddyurappa openly.

The anti-Yeddyurappa camp believes that the Central leadership would initiate action against those who defied the party direction. State president K S Eshwarappa told Deccan Herald that Advani had taken exception to the absence of some ministers.

“However, he did not indicate any action from our side. It is up to him to decide and take it up with the Central leadership,” Eshwarappa said.

The yatra is due to conclude on November 20. It remains to be seen whether the BJP veteran will communicate his unhappiness to the Central leadership mid-way in his yatra.

The entire issue may be sidelined as the winter session of Parliament is expected to be convened from November 22.

Asked if any show cause notice would be issued to the absentee ministers, Eshwarappa said: “It is entirely for the Central leadership to decide”.

The prominent absentees included ministers C M Udasi, Umesh Katti, Basavaraj Bommai, C C Patil, V Somanna, Renukacharaya, Murugesh Nirani, Revu Naik Belamagi, apart from Shobha Karandlaje. 

Katti and Udasi had written to Eshwarappa that they would not be able to make it to the Bangalore rally as they would be attending the last rites of a pontiff in Davangere. But these leaders did not also make it to the meetings in Mangalore and Udupi on Monday.

Leaders owing allegiance to Yeddyurappa, who did not like to be named, said they kept off  the rally as their ‘leader’ directed them to do so. When Yeddyurappa is humiliated and put behind the bars, there was no need to conduct the ‘Rath Yatra’ in the State.

Also, the supporters of Yeddyurappa wanted to send a strong message to the Central leadership that the party may even lose some of the MLAs who are ministers, in case the party tries to further marginalise Yeddyurappa. They said there was no direction from the party to compulsorily make it to the rally.

The ministers and MLAs of north Karnataka and those who represent constituencies where there is considerable Lingayat population, are of the firm opinion that Yeddyurappa is undisputedly a strong Lingayat leader.

So, they are in no mood to disassociate from him, at least till the court adjudicates the cases against him.

The loyalists of Yeddyurappa believe that Brahmin leaders in the party are working against Lingayats. If Yeddyurappa fails to get bail, his loyalists may have to take some hard decisions about their political future, sources said.

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