Clamour in Karnataka BJP for BSY's head

Clamour in Karnataka BJP for BSY's head

Time out?: B S Yeddyurappa

BJP national president Amit Shah and top Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) functionaries are said to have discussed a leadership change in the state BJP in Mangaluru on Thursday.

Shah, who attended the annual South India RSS annual meeting, is said to have taken stock of the growing clamour in the party for the ouster of Karnataka BJP president B S Yeddyurappa on the sidelines of the meeting. However, no final decision has been taken, according to party sources.

There has been pressure on Yeddyurappa to make way for a younger leader to take charge of the BJP state unit after the party’s poor show in the recent bypolls. The BJP retained only the Shimoga Lok Sabha seat, while it suffered a shock defeat in the Bellary Lok Sabha seat. It is after a gap of 14 years that the BJP lost the Bellary seat to the Congress. The BJP also lost the Mandya Lok Sabha seat along with the Jamkhandi and Ramanagara Assembly constituencies.

Yeddyurappa was however not present at the meeting which is also learnt to have discussed the Ram Mandir and Sabarimala row. The meeting was held with an intention to strengthen the Sangh Parivar organisations. The meeting is said to have sought the support of seers of various mutts for BJP’s stand.

Speaking to reporters in Bengaluru, BJP state General Secretary C T Ravi did not rule out the possibility of Yeddyurappa being replaced as the BJP state president.

“One thing is clear. There is no permanent president. It is only Congress and the JD(S) that have permanent presidents. In our party, we have a system where change happens based on circumstances,” Ravi, party in-charge for the organisation in the southern states and a four-time legislator, said.

“The Parliamentary Board will decide when the change (in leadership) will happen. The board will also decide who is suitable. There are many workers who are eligible and they will get responsibilities based on circumstances and need,” Ravi said. Asked how many aspirants were there for the post, Ravi quipped: “It’s not a party ticket to have aspirants.”  However, it is unlikely that Yeddyurappa will be replaced with the LS elections so close and also given that he hails from the dominant Lingayat community.

“For now, Yeddyurappa is the president and we have elections coming up. So, the post isn’t vacant,” Dakshina Kannada BJP MP Nalin Kumar Kateel told reporters in Mangaluru, after meeting Amit Shah.

The meeting is also said to have discussed the short-listing of a replacement for Union minister Ananth Kumar who passed away earlier this week.