BSY, Ashoka frontrunners to be BJP prez

Last Updated : 08 October 2015, 18:53 IST

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BJP leaders B S Yeddyurappa, R Ashoka, C T Ravi and Nalin Kumar Kateel have emerged as the frontrunners for the post of party State president with the tenure of incumbent Pralhad Joshi ending in December.

The party on Wednesday announced the calendar of events for its organisational elections. The next State president will lead the party during the 2018 Assembly elections.
Supporters of Yeddyurappa are keen that their leader take over the reins of the party.
Yeddyurappa’s political experience and mass appeal would add strength to the State leadership is their contention. The former chief minister, who had distanced himself from the State unit for the last one year after getting elected as member of parliament, has become more visible by actively participating in the Raitha Chaitanya rallies of the party.
However, various pending corruption cases yet to be adjudicated by courts may go against Yeddyurappa.

Former deputy chief minister R Ashoka had strengthened his position in the State unit after leading the BJP to victory in the recent Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike polls. However, his joy was shortlived with the Congress and JD(S) joining hands to take over power in the civic body. Yet, Ashoka is a strong contender for the post and his supporters are playing the Vokkaliga card stating making him the party president would act as a counter to the growth of the JD(S).

If the party central leadership continues to prefer youngsters, then former minister C T Ravi and two-term MP Nalin Kumar Kateel could be considered for the top post. Ravi has been active in the party setup and impressed the central leadership with his organisational skills during the BJP national executive meeting held in Bengaluru earlier this year. Kateel is more low-profile but also a dedicated party worker.

The acceptability factor will also play a major role in the selection of the next party president as there are several power centres in the party.

Joshi may be asked to continue for two to three more months after his tenure as the zilla and taluk panchayat polls are scheduled to be held early next year, sources said. There is also a possibility that Joshi may even be given a second term in office, the sources added.

Published 08 October 2015, 18:53 IST

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