Dissent: BJP leaders refuse CM's 'placating' postings

U B Banakar

Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa had hoped that appointments to boards and corporations would placate the BJP leaders who had threatened to raise a banner of revolt if they were denied tickets for the December 5 bypolls. But, his plan appears to have failed.

Only one out of the eight BJP leaders appointed to various statutory boards and corporations has assumed charge. The remaining are still miffed with the leadership for wanting to field disqualified "rebel" MLAs in their constituencies for the bypolls, with some even leaning towards the Congress.

It is either "opposition by party workers" or "wait and watch" that these leaders are citing as reasons behind them not taking up the positions.

Speaking to DH, Hoskote's Sharath Bachegowda, who had lost to Congress' rebel MTB Nagaraj, said he was determined to contest the bypolls despite being offered the post of Karnataka Housing Board chairman, which he has refused.

"BJP workers from the constituency are behind me," he said, adding that fielding Nagaraj would only antagonise the cadre.

According to U B Banakar from Hirekerur, he was made head of the Karnataka State Agricultural Produce Processing and Export Corporation Limited keeping the bypolls in mind. "But, 72,000 BJP voters have to be convinced and if these workers get angry and switch loyalties to Congress, what can we do?" he said. Banakar, a staunch Yediyurappa loyalist, had lost to B C Patil of the Congress by a slender margin.

Similarly, Ashok Pujary, who lost to Congress' Ramesh Jarkiholi in Gokak, also has not accepted the post of chairman at Karnataka Border Area Development Authority. Raju Kage from Kagwad and Maski BJP candidate Basangouda Turvihal shared a similar view, saying that they would "wait and watch."

Also, Nandish Reddy from KR Puram and H R Gaviyappa from Vijayanagar (Ballari), are yet to assume charge of the positions offered to them.

The only exception is V S Patil from Yellapur. He said he took charge as North West Karnataka Road Transport Corporation chairman on Monday. "The party has offered this responsibility even after we lost polls in 2018. Therefore, it is imperative that we accept the role," he said.

On opposition by party workers against fielding Congress and JD(S) rebels, Patil said that efforts will be made to come to an arrangement with BJP workers prior to the polls.

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