Bengaluru/Mangaluru, Mar 24: Former Power Minister and staunch loyalist of former Chief Minister, B S Yeddyurappa (BSY), Shobha Karandlaje is of a view that appointing BSY to the post of BJP president would ease the way to regain the Karnataka state in 2018 elections, which the BJP lost in 2013 assembly elections.
But the tide appears to be not moving along side of the former Chief Minister who heralded the BJP to victory in 2008 assembly elections bagging 110 seats. A few top state leaders are mulling to opt a new face to the state BJP presidential post that is now lying vacant, after the tenure of Pralhad Joshi ended with effect on March 23.
A faction in the BJP vying for new face
A faction in the state BJP is vying to make a MP (Member of Parliament) from coastal district Dakshina Kannada, Nalin Kumar Kateel as the state president. At least three to four close sources of Nalin Kumar Kateel informed OneIndia that the top state leaders are interested in the profile of Nalin Kateel.
"Nalin is a good MP and most of the BJP cadre is voicing in favor of Nalin, but Nalin himself is not that much interested to assume the post. Anything may happen. It is up to the top leadership of the BJP now to decide. There are very good chances for Nalin Kateel also," one close and reliable source of Nalin Kumar put across diplomatically.
It seems a political game of tug of war is underway among two factions inside the BJP, one faction headed by B S Yeddyurappa and another by Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers Ananth Kumar. However Ananth Kumar is backed by National Joint General Secretary (Organisation) BJP, B L Santosh, popularly known in the state as Santosh Ji.
Shobha for Yeddyurappa
A staunch loyalist of BSY, Shobha Karandlaje said large chunk of party members are batting for BSY as it would ease assembly battles in order hold the state mantle. For a question on Nalin Kumar Kateel's prospects, she clasped onto diplomatic stick saying she has no knowledge of such move unfolding in the party camp.
Another sources close to BSY said, Santosh Ji is going to all out to push Nalin Kumar Kateel. The source indicate that same is done at the behest of Ananth Kumar, a chief ministerial aspiration from the BJP. Hauling Nalin to the top post would facilitate Kumar to fulfill his aspiration and take control of the state.
Nalin's appointment may split the BJP further
It could be recalled that, Nalin Kumar was on verge of loosing coveted MP ticket during 2014 may parliamentary elections. Following the allegations on the character of Kumar and subsequent press meets by his rivals in Dakshina Kannada forced RSS think tank of coastal district Prabhakar Bhat to replace Nalin from the MP ticket.
It was then, B L Santosh rushed to the rescue of Nalin and secured the ticket. Both Santosh and Prabhakar Bhat has equal number of followers in the RSS and are considered as foes.
Bhat being close to Yeddyurappa and Santosh Ji being the enemy of Yeddyurappa, any move of making Nalin president would further deepen the split that is already existing in the party. In the 2013 general elections, it has to be noted that, Yeddyurappa disassociated from the BJP and formed Karnataka Janata Paksha which resulted the massive debacle of the BJP.
The top BJP leaders allegedly forced Yeddyurappa to resign as the Chief Minister in 2011, following allegations of corruption. Miffed former Chief Minister disconnected himself from the party causing defeat to the party only to signal that BJP strength lies in the mass popularity Yeddyurappa.
Keeping this in mind the BJP top leadership would move very cautiously before going ahead with any decision. It is certain at this juncture that top leadership will not take any hasty decision in order to regain the state of Karnataka.