Will expel BJP rebel in Hoskote, says BSY

B S Yediyurappa

Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Sunday said that BJP rebel from Hoskote constituency Sharath Bachegowda will be expelled from the party, as the saffron party faced the wrath of workers and leaders in various places over the decision to field Cong-JD(S) rebels in the bypolls. 

In Athani, supporters of Deputy CM Laxman Savadi, who was denied ticket, gheraoed minister Jagadish Shettar and BJP candidate Mahesh Kumathalli, who had visited Savadi’s residence to pacify the sulking leader.

Similarly, there were demonstrations against the candidature of Arun Kumar from Ranebennur constituency and Ramesh Jarkiholi from Gokak constituency. The party also didn’t make any headway in pacifying senior BJP leader Kaviraj Urs, who remained adamant on contesting from  Vijaynagar constituency as an independent candidate.

Speaking to reporters in Bengaluru, Yediyurappa lashed out at Sharath, as attempts by the saffron party to convince him to withdraw his candidature did not yield any results. “Sharath will not win from Hoskote constituency at any cost. We are expelling him from the party,” he said.

“Either Sharath has to resign as chairman of the Karnataka Housing Board or we will remove him from the post,” he said.

Sharath was appointed to the post by Yediyurappa in October.

Shettar gheraoed

In another embarrassment for the saffron party, BJP leaders, including heavy industries minister Jagadish Shettar, were gheraoed by supporters of Savadi at the latter’s residence. Savadi supporters urged him not to attend a poll meeting organised by Athani candidate Mahesh Kumathalli.

“Both Mahesh Kumathalli and Shrimanth Patil will win. Differences within BJP workers over the candidates will be sorted out in two-three days,” he said.

In Vijayanagar constituency, efforts by Health Minister B Sriramulu to convince Kaviraj Urs — angered over the candidature of Congress rebel Anand Singh — turned futile. Supporters of Ashok Pujary also staged a protest in Gokak.

In yet another headache for the BJP, which is looking to win 6-7 seats, supporters of Basavaraj Kelagar demanded that their leader be fielded on a BJP ticket in place of Arun Kumar in Ranebennur.

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