Those who shamed party in past may miss BJP ticket now

Last Updated 24 January 2018, 19:41 IST

The BJP central leadership, virtually taking over the state unit ahead of the Assembly polls, has made several leaders, especially those who have embarrassed the party in the past, jittery.

These leaders, including several legislators, apprehend that they may not be able to secure the ticket to contest the polls, if the process is controlled by the central leadership. At the same time, a section of leaders, who feel that they can win due to their personal clout, are resisting the direction of the central leaders to strengthen the party at the grassroot.  

They are of the view that they know how to emerge victorious in the elections on their own without taking up the tasks set by central leadership such as constituting booth committees. Their fear is that they might lose their hold over the constituencies if the booth-level committees are strengthened.  

When in power, the BJP had to face embarrassment several times due to its own legislators. As many as 11 MLAs rebelled against the then chief minister B S Yeddyurappa.

They were disqualified and later reinstated on the direction of the Supreme Court. They include Balachandra Jarkiholi, Beluru Gopalakrishna, Anand Asnotikar, Sarvabhauma Bagali, V Nagaraju, Raju Kage, Y Sampangi, Nanjundaswamy, S K Bellubbi, H S Shankaralinge Gowda and Shivanagouda Naik.

Except Shankaralinge Gowda, who passed away, and Asnotikar, who quit the party, the remaining are still in the party and are ticket aspirants. Then there are those leaders who put the party in a spot by finding themselves in awkward situation - Hartal Halappa (rape charges), M P Renukacharya and S A Ramdas (both were accused by women of exploiting them), Lakshman Savadi, C C Patil (caught watching porn in Assembly on a phone belonging to another leader Krishna Palemar).

Again, all are aspiring for the ticket. The central leadership has made it clear that tickets will be issued after three rounds of survey, extensive consultation with local functionaries and the RSS. The apprehension is that those who embarrassed the party in the past may not make it to the final list. The feeling is that these leaders could stand a chance if the process is handed over to the state unit. However, the sources said the central leadership will have a final say.

The vice-like grip of the central leadership over the state unit has also disgruntled some leaders. Vijayanagara (Hosapete) MLA B Anand Singh, who has distanced himself from the party, is a case in point. Singh kept away from the Navakarnataka Nirmana Parivarthana Yatra. He was issued a notice for participating in Tipu Jayanti. He is
now planning to join the Congress.

(Published 24 January 2018, 19:00 IST)

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