All is not well in BJP ahead of byelections

The BJP is facing resentment internally over its choice of candidates for the crucial bye-elections to the Kundgol and Chincholi assembly constituencies. (DH File Photo)

The BJP is facing resentment internally over its choice of candidates for the crucial bye-elections to the Kundgol and Chincholi assembly constituencies.

The BJP’s core committee has recommended to its central leadership to field S I Chikkangoudar, the party state president B S Yeddyurappa’s relative, from the Kundgol constituency. This has met with grassroots opposition, with party workers arguing that M R Patil should be fielded, instead.

Kundgol BJP leader Prakashgouda V Patil took to social media and urged the party leadership to “take local ground report” of the constituency.

‘Patil good candidate’

“Otherwise, we will lose the constituency,” Patil wrote on Twitter. “M R Patil is very good candidate, but our state leaders are not giving him a chance.” Other local leaders Saunshimath Shiddu and Ravikumar Yaliwal echoed the same sentiment.

State leaders, however, argue that Chikkangoudar had been recommended for the Kundgol ticket as he had lost by just 634 votes in the Assembly polls last year against Congress’ C S Shivalli, whose death necessitated the bypoll.

For Chincholi, the party core committee had initially recommended Ramchandra Jadhav, the brother of Umesh Jadhav whose resignation necessitated the bypoll.

Umesh later lobbied for his son Avinash to get the ticket. Umesh was elected as a Congress legislator, but resigned and joined the BJP that fielded him as its candidate in the Lok Sabha election from Gulbarga against senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge.

‘Vanshvaad’

The BJP has been attacking the Congress as a party of dynasts, but fielding Umesh’s son could cause a setback to this narrative against ‘Vanshvaad,’ some leaders fear.

In fact, BJP national joint general secretary (organisation) B L Santhosh had recently said the party cannot give tickets based on DNA and family. This was in response to why late union minister Ananth Kumar’s wife Tejaswini was not fielded from Bangalore South.

Former minister Sunil Vallyapure, who wanted the Chincholi ticket, was said to be miffed.

He had unsuccessfully contested against Jadhav last year. On Saturday, Vallyapure clarified he would stay in the BJP and work for the victory of the party’s candidate.

BJP determined

The Kundgol and Chincholi seats go to polls on May 19. The BJP is determined to win both seats, with which the party will increase its tally in the Assembly to 106.

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