Bengaluru: Simmering tension between supporters of KS Eshwarappa and BS Yeddyurappa escalated on Thursday after the former's supporters asked the BJP's national leadership to resolve all differences, including taking a call on making Eshwarappa the party's state unit president, by May 10.
According to a TOI report, the demand was made at a 'save BJP' rally held at Bangalore Palace grounds. The meeting was attended by two MLCs, three former MLAs and one former MLC, and hundreds of party workers.
Angered by the rally, Yeddyurappa accused BL Santhosh, party's national joint general secretary (organization), of engineering a revolt against him. "This is clear because legislator M Bhanuprakash and former MLA Nirmal Kumar Surana are close aides of Santhosh," the report quoted Yeddyurappa as saying. Santhosh said the party would react to the statement.
Yeddyurappa reportedly has apprised party national president Amit Shah and general secretary (Karnataka) Muralidhar Rao of Thursday's rally by videotaping the rally and translating the speeches into Hindi and Gujarati. According to the report, the allegation against Santhosh had "rattled" party leaders.
Among others, Eshwarappa supporters sought recasting of the party office-bearers -a demand ignored by Yeddyurappa. Former minister Shivanna said he would hold another rally on May 20 if Yeddyurappa failed to meet their demands by May 10. Supporters of Eshwarappa said they had no issues if Yeddyurappa is made CM if the party emerged victorious in the next year's polls. But they wanted Eshwarappa to be the head of state unit.
Reacting to Yeddyurappa's claim that BJP national leaders had warned him against the rally, Eshwarappa said, "It's unfortunate those who had quit the party are now warning of action. How can a national general secretary issue such instructions without Amit Shah's consent? I feel our leadership will take an appropriate decision." he said.
"When Shah declared Yeddyurappa the party president, we were happy. But if you (BSY) act of your own accord, we won't sit quiet. You call us anti-party, but we won't form join other parties," the report quoted Eshwarappa as saying.