BJP may have new State unit chief soon

With B S Yeddyurappa’s exit from the party becoming imminent, the BJP is understood to have initiated the process of appointing a new president to the State unit of the party.

Deputy Chief Minister K S Eshwarappa, who also holds  the post of State party president, and party MPs - Prahlad Joshi and Nalin Kumar Katil - were summoned by the high command to Delhi on Monday to hold talks on appointing the new State chief. Both Joshi and Katil are in the race for the post. While Joshi is the BJP MP from Dharwad, Katil is the party’s MP from Mangalore.

BJP national president Nitin Gadkari at an hour-long meeting, in New Delhi on Monday, directed Eshwarappa to conitnue as the party’s State unit president till December.

Gadkari also urged the State party leaders to not react to statements of Lingayat leaders over Yeddyurappa’s threat to quit the party.

According to party sources, the long-delayed appointment will be made soon in the wake of Yeddyurappa making a formal announcement about floating a new political outfit. The party intends to put a full stop to the confusion in the party ahead of the Assembly elections.

The party high command had delayed the process hoping against hope that it would succeed in pacifying the former chief minister sooner or later.

Yeddyurappa is learnt to have demanded that the high command make him the party chief, besides making an announcement that he will be the chief ministerial candidate in the next elections. But the high command is learnt to have rejected his demands. Instead, it had offered to make him the campaign committee chairman, which Yeddyurappa turned down.

Survey conducted

The high command is likely to deliberate on the implications of Yeddyurappa severing ties with the party. The party, sources said, had recently got a survey done on its popularity in the State. According to the survey, the party may secure 60 to 70 seats in the next Assembly elections and Yeddyurappa’s new party will manage a maximum of 10 seats, sources said.

The party, sources said, has also decided to appoint chiefs to all boards and corporations soon, with an eye on the next elections. Besides, the party is likely to fulfil Municipal Administration Minister Balachandra Jarkiholi’s demand for a plum portfolio. The party may give him KUWSSB, KUIDFC and urban development, sources said.

New constituencies

Sources said Yeddyurappa and his close confidants, including Shobha Karandlaje and V Somanna, are looking out for new Assembly constituencies to contest from. Besides, Yeddyurappa is seriously considering fielding his close aide Siddalingaswamy against Congress leader Siddaramaiah from Varuna constituency in Mysore.

Yeddyurappa plans to field his son B Y Raghavendra from Shikaripura. Hence, he is looking for a new constituency for himself.

He is considering Gundlupet. Somanna may contest from Chamarajanagar constituency and Karandlaje may select one of the constituencies in Dakshina Kannada district.

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