Clamour for leadership change, but BSY may stay

Clamour for leadership change, but BSY may stay

B S Yeddyurappa

A day after the BJP’s poor show in bypolls, there are indications that party state president B S Yeddyurappa might come under pressure from within the party to step down. However, Yeddyurappa is likely to continue given that he belongs to the dominant Lingayat community. The Lok Sabha elections are also too close for a change in leadership.

According to party insiders, a section of BJP functionaries may approach central leaders on the leadership issue. They blame Yeddyurappa for not actively campaigning during bypolls.

Analysts say replacing Yeddyurappa will be “suicidal” for the BJP. “If the BJP goes to 2019 polls without Yeddyurappa, the Congress-JD(S) alliance will win more than 20 seats. With Yeddyurappa, there’ll be an equal fight,” said political analyst S Mahadeva

“In the 2014 Lok Sabha election, the BJP won eight seats in north Karnataka because of Yeddyurappa’s popularity and the Lingayat support base. With the Congress having a hold on the Ahinda and the JD(S) holding Vokkaligas, the BJP will be hit hard if it loses the Lingayat base,” he said.

In a detailed Facebook post, BJP spokesperson S Suresh Kumar said the time was right for the party to introspect. “We should have been more serious about the bypolls given that they were being held just before the 2019 elections,” Kumar wrote, pointing out that the BJP should have won Bellary and Jamkhandi. “We can’t afford to make the same mistakes again and again. We will have to face the same alliance in 2019.”