Eshwarappa cracks the whip, suspends BSY aide

Eshwarappa cracks the whip, suspends BSY aide

State BJP President K S Eshwarappa cracked the whip by suspending B J Puttaswamy - political secretary to the chief minister - from the BJP as he, propped up by former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa, filed his nomination as a BJP candidate for the Rajya Sabha elections despite not getting B form from the party, on Monday.

DISSIDENCE: BJP rebel candidate B J Puttaswamy files nomination papers for Rajya Sabha elections in Bangalore on Monday. DH Photo

He has been suspended from the primary membership of the party.

Besides Puttaswamy, seven more are in the fray for four Rajya Sabha seats from Karnataka. The last date for withdrawal of nominations is March 22 and the polling is on March 30.

Eshwarappa said Puttaswamy had been suspended as a special invitee to the party from backward classes and as a primary member for filing the nomination. The 10 MLAs, who proposed his candidature, have been served with show cause notices.

The BJP, against its earlier decision to field K B Shanappa, the sitting RS member, fielded Basavaraj Patil Sedam, former MP. Sedam, a Lingayat, is a close associate of Yeddyurappa. The Sadananda Gowda camp yielded to Yeddyurappa’s pressure to field Sedam, it is said. But this did not stop Yeddyurappa from creating more problems for the party. He fielded his aide Puttaswamy as a candidate.

The other BJP nominee who filed the papers is R Ramakrishna, the party’s election cell convenor at the national level, while K Rehman Khan, the deputy speaker of the Rajya Sabha, is the Congress nominee. Industrialist and sitting RS member Rajeev Chandrasekhar, backed by the JD(S), entered the fray as an Independent candidate.

Sedam and Ramakrishna were accompanied by leaders from the Yeddyurappa and the Sadananda Gowda camps, when they reached the Vidhana Soudha to file the papers. They included Gowda, Eshwarappa, Shobha Karandlaje, C M Udasi, Umesh Katti and Suresh Kumar.

Puttaswamy, who used to be the voice of Yeddyurappa while attacking the Lokayukta, said he had resigned as the political secretary before filing the papers. He claimed that he was the third official BJP candidate and would submit ‘B’ form on Tuesday. The BJP MLAs who have proposed the candidature of Puttaswamy are - Ramappa Lamani, Suresh Marihal, G Shivanna, Lakshman Savadi, Karadi Sanganna, Aravind Limbavali, Hemachandra Sagar, Jagadish Metgudda, Chikkanagoudar and Shivanagouda Nayak. They are identified with the Yeddyurappa camp.

The chief minister, while speaking to the media, said the party had not fielded more than two candidates. The party would be supporting any independent candidate who does not have the Congress’ backing.

JD(S) leader H D Revanna, who accompanied Rajeev Chandrasekhar, said the MP had done good work for the last six years. So the JD(S) decided to support his candidature for the RS polls. He can win provided he gets the votes of not only the JD(S), but also the support of either the BJP or the Congress. The BJP had supported him in the last elections.
Dr K Padmarajan, Dr D R Venkatesh Gowda and Venkatesh Dorapalli are three other independent candidates in the fray.
The BJP, with its strength, can easily win two seats and will be left with extra votes. The Congress can win one seat on its own strength.