The Karnataka BJP is a divided house. The Sangolli Rayanna brigade issue is ripping the party apart forcing party members to choose between Party state president B S Yeddyurappa and senior party member K S Eshwarappa. Former Mayor of Bengaluru, Venkatesh Murthy became the first casualty in the battle within the BJP when Yeddyurappa suspended him for anti-party activities on Tuesday .
Murthy is the president of the Rayanna brigade and incidentally is an aide of K S Eshwarappa. Unfazed by the move, Murthy convened a meeting of the brigade members in Bengaluru on Wednesday. The meeting came despite a strict warning from BJP leaders against it.
Irked by the party's crackdown on members of the brigade, Eshwarappa, who is the leader of opposition in the Karnataka council, claimed that the brigade will not work towards making Yeddyurappa the next chief minister, this is in stark contrast to their earlier stand. "Our initial plan was to work towards making BSY the CM. But now that it has been decided that the brigade is a different entity from the party, and we will not work towards making him the CM", he said while addressing the press.
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While Yeddyurappa has so far not commented on Eshwarappa's statement, disappointment over the brigade's move is writ large on the party. Some in the party, however, believe that the two leaders will sort their differences but the ones to become casualty will be followers of the leaders such as Murthy.
A divided BJP made way for the Congress' victory in 2013 Karnataka assembly polls. Once again, the Karnataka unit of the BJP is struggling to keep its unity intact.