Bengaluru: The ruling BJP, which is battling for the survival of its government, post the December 5 byelections, has set party rebels a deadline of November 21, the last day for withdrawal of nominations, to back out of the contest or face expulsion.
Chief Minister B.S.Yediyurappa has already warned party rebel, Sharath Bachegowda, who has filed his nomination from Hoskote and the party is considering taking similar disciplinary action against his father and Chikkaballapura MP, B.N. Bachegowda, who has not discouraged him from contesting and did not turn up for the nomination of the party’s official candidate, M.T.B. Nagaraj, from the constituency on Monday.
“We have requested rebel candidates to withdraw their nominations and support the official candidates. The party will wait till November 21, the last day for withdrawal of nominations. If they refuse to fall in line, we will take action against them. We are also considering taking action against the Chikkaballapura MP,” confirmed state BJP general secretary, N. Ravikumar.
Besides Hoskote, the party is facing rebellion in Vijayanagar constituency where rebel leader, Kaviraj Urs, has filed his nomination against its official candidate.
In a show of defiance, his supporters even performed a “milk abhisheka,” pouring 101 litres of milk on him after he filed his nomination on Monday.
Responding to his open challenge to the party, Mr Ravikumar said, “I am willing to bet that Mr. Urs will not get even a 101 votes in the byelections.”
The Bharatiya Janata Party, however, claims it has been able to persuade its rebels in K.R.Puram, Shivajinagara, Yeshwantapura and Mahalakshmi Layout constituencies to back its official candidates.
Former deputy mayor S. Harish, who was upset at losing the party ticket to disqualified legislator, Gopalaiah, will now campaign for him, according to party sources.
Former minister Aravinda Limbavali, who is in charge of the byelections, has similarly succeeded in pacifying rebels in Yeshwantapura, Shivajinagara and K.R. Puram constituencies, they claim.