Discontent is simmering in the BJP after the central leadership came up with a surprise choice for the post of party state president- three time Dakshina Kannada MP, Nalin Kumar Kateel.
This virtually forced Mr Kateel to reach out to Bengaluru city leaders and ministers like R. Ashok and V. Somanna last week when he sought their help to strengthen the party organization. Mr. Kateel personally went to these leaders’ houses and sought their guidance to strengthen the party. Though both leaders assured their cooperation, party sources said that this is unlikely to happen so easily. Reason: all these years, a few leaders in the BJP’s Bengaluru unit have been making crucial decision pertaining to the party.
Not only Bengaluru, Mr Kateel had to face resistance in his home district Dakshina Kannada too. The split is also wide open in the Udupi BJP unit which became evident when it organized a felicitation for the BJP State President on Tuesday. Kundapura MLA, Haladi Srinivasa Shetty and Byndoor MLA, Sukumar Shetty skipped the programme to express their annoyance with the state leadership.
Mr. Srinivasa Shetty has already expressed his displeasure over not being inducted in the Cabinet and met the CM last week to express his anger, said sources. The majority of BJP MLAs who are considered loyalists of Mr Yediyurappa have not taken kindly to the decision to appoint a junior leader like Mr Kateel as BJP President. Leaders like R. Ashok, Aravind Limbavali, Haladi Srinivasa Shetty and Basanagouda Patil Yatnal are yet to digest the decision, said sources.
Meanwhile, sources close to Mr Kateel expressed confidence that he will gain the confidence of the party cadre and leaders. Kateel also plans to embark on a state tour to meet party workers and leaders.