Kudalasangama (Bagalkot district): Sending a political message on the eve of the conciliatory meeting convened by the party high command, BJP State unit president B.S. Yeddyurappa’s detractors managed to draw a sizeable crowd at the convention of the Sangolli Rayanna Brigade.
The brigade is an apolitical forum being mentored by senior BJP leader K.S. Eshwarappa to organise Dalits and backward classes.
The meet, led by Mr. Eshwarappa, was held at Kudalasangama in Bagalkot district and saw a good turnout despite a warning by Mr. Yeddyurappa to the party cadre against participating in it. Though only three prominent leaders (Somanna Bevinamarad, MLC, and former Ministers S.A. Ravindranath and Sogadu Shivanna) and a few important religious heads attended the convention, tens of thousands of people took part in it.
The attendance, which was very thin in the morning, swelled by afternoon. Encouraged by this, Mr. Eshwarappa announced that a State-level convention of the brigade would be held soon and Prime Minister Narendra Modi would be invited to attend it.
While Mr. Eshwarappa maintains that the brigade would help in broadening the party’s support base by roping in the backward classes and Dalits, Mr. Yeddyurappa contends such activities can only be undertaken under the party banner.