Eshwarappa slams dynasty culture in BJP

Eshwarappa slams dynasty culture in BJP

In an apparent challenge to the BJP leadership, Eshwarappa on Monday questioned the propriety of fielding the Chief Minister’s son in the Lok Sabha elections.

Speaking to reporters here on Monday, Eshwarappa said: “The propriety of fielding the CM’s son for the Lok Sabha elections is the single question I am being confronted with in post-poll interactions. The activists were displeased over giving ticket to Yeddyurappa’s son overlooking seniority. The question calls for a debate as we are answerable to the party cadres.”

Caught off guard by Eshwarappa’s outburst, an embarassed BJP top-brass on Monday declined to react, seeking time to study his statements.

BJP State President D V Sadananda Gowda, who is in New Delhi to attend the Lok Sabha proceedings, said he had no official knowledge of Eshwarappa’s outbursts.

A day after he preferred to absent himself from the inauguration of the State government-sponsored ‘Vikasa Sankalpa Utsava’, Eshwarappa also demanded a probe into the alleged use of liquor and money during the polls.

Stating that party workers were of the view that the BJP had ceased to be a party with a difference, he said dynastic rule, casteism and electoral malpractices were the issues with which the Congress and the JD(S) were being targeted. “However, by fielding the kith and kin of sitting ministers, the BJP has lost the moral authority to take on other parties over this issue,” he said.

Referring to allegations of the party employing money and liquor to woo voters during elections, Eshwarappa said he would appeal to State President Sadananda Gowda to constitute a committee of senior leaders to look into the charges.

“I am elated that the party won 19 seats in the elections. But, I do believe that means are as important as the ends. More than development and ideological issues, distribution of money and liquor were prominently discussed during elections in Shimoga.

Loyal BJP voters who were not used to this political culture, lost motivation to turn up at polling booths. The party had similar experience in other constituencies also.”

Continuing his diatribe against the Chief Minister, who had earlier expressed dissatisfaction over his son B Y Raghavendra’s slender victory  margin at a religious function here, Eshwarappa said it was unfortunate that the CM chose to speak politics at a religious programme. Unrelenting in his attack, Eshwarappa said the electoral lead had narrowed not just in Shimoga but also in the Shikaripur Assembly segment which Yeddyurappa represents. “The party managed to get more votes in Shimoga despite a reduction in the lead. However, the number of votes and the lead margin have shrunk in the Shikaripur constituency. The trend indicates BJP leaders and activists were not comfortable with Raghvendra’s candidature,” Eshwarappa noted.

Meanwhile, Horticulture Minister Umesh Katti, whose brother Ramesh Katti won from Chikkodi, said he would not make any comments on Eshwarappa’s statements since he was not aware of them.

PWD Minister C M Udasi, whose son Shivakumara Udasi won from Haveri, was more forthcoming. Udasi said he disagreed with Eshwarappa.

“My son was an able candidate and so the party gave him a ticket to contest. In politics, winning seats is important to form the government,” he stated.

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