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BJP in Karnataka Locked in a Bitter Turf War

The in-fighting within the Karnataka BJP is out in the open now, with Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council KS Eshwarappa admitting as much during a press conference in Kalaburgi in north Karnataka on Tuesday.

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Updated:January 10, 2017, 2:46 PM IST
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BJP in Karnataka Locked in a Bitter Turf War
File photo of BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa (Photo: News18)
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Bengaluru: The in-fighting within the Karnataka BJP is out in the open now, with Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council KS Eshwarappa admitting as much during a press conference in Kalaburgi in north Karnataka on Tuesday.

Eshwarappa, who has been in the news for having launched an ‘apolitical’ organisation called the Sangolli Rayanna Brigade to work for the depressed classes, said that installing BJP state president BS Yeddyurappa as the next chief minister of Karnataka is not one of the goals of his brigade.

Eshwarappa has earlier been deputy CM in the BJP government until 2013, and continues to be one of BJP’s main leaders in the State.

“Initially, we had said one of our aims is to make Yeddyurappa the CM. But Yeddyurappa himself has said that he doesn’t need the support of any brigade, the people of Karnataka will make him the CM. When he has said that, why should the brigade’s members support him? So we have changed our stance on this,” said Eshwarappa at the press conference.

The rift between the two heavy-weights of the BJP has been growing wider in recent weeks, ever since Eshwarappa launched this brigade to unite people from SC, ST and OBC communities ahead of Assembly elections slated for mid-2018.

While admitting there are ‘internal differences’ in the State BJP, Eshwarappa said he hopes these would be sorted out soon.

“We have decided to go by the advice of religious mutt heads who have been guiding us (in the brigade) so far. We are not against any person or any party. But we will not support any political party either. At the time of elections, members can support any party they want,” Eshwarappa said.

He claimed that he had informed both the BJP and the RSS about the goals of the brigade and hoped for the RSS’ support in the brigade’s goals.

A politician starting an apolitical organisation had already raised enough eye-brows, but with Tuesday’s press conference, the party seems to be battling rebellion within, now more than ever.

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