Nalin Kumar Kateel new BJP state president

Nalin Kumar Kateel new BJP state president

Nalin Kumar Kateel

Dakshina Kannada MP Nalin Kumar Kateel has been appointed as BJP Karnataka unit president.

BJP national president Amit Shah has appointed Nalin Kumar Kateel as state BJP president, said Arun Singh, national general secretary, BJP, in his communication sent to state unit on Tuesday.

Having an RSS background, the 53-year old Bunt community leader's appointment came as surprise as several other senior leaders were in the race for the top post.

Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, who was also serving as state unit chief, had favoured former minister Arvind Limbavali as his replacement. However, BJP national general secretary (Organisation) B L Santosh pushed his confident Kateel's name as the party was keen on appointing a loyal leader with an RSS background, sources in the BJP told DH.

Earlier, three former ministers, C T Ravi, Arvind Limbavali and R Ashoka, were in the race for the post. While Ravi and Ashoka were appointed as Cabinet ministers, the party was not inclined to appoint Limbavali for the top post, sources said.

By appointing Kateel as the state unit chief, the party also tried to give justice to Dakshina Kannada where the saffron party leaders and workers were upset about not being given at least one ministership to the district in the Tuesday's Cabinet expansion.

Kateel, a three-time MP from Dakshina Kannada, became an RSS pracharak at the age of 18. An agriculturist and a civil contractor, Kateel, subsequently joined the BJP and served as its Dakshina Kannada district general secretary in 2004. In 2009, he was elected to the Lok Sabha for the first time and re-elected in 2014. In 2019, he was able to win from the same constituency despite strong opposition from a section of leaders within the party.