Revolt looms large in BJP camp

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Bangalore, Apr 11 (UNI) Irked Protests greeted the release of the BJP's first list of candidates for the coming Assembly elections in Karnataka, indicating a revolt in the saffron party.

Protests started once the list of 136 names was announced from Delhi yesterday with 'loyal' and old time members of the party venting their ire against the party leadership.

The loyalists came out with saffron coloured advertisements in newspapers, accusing the state leaders of betrayal.

''Who is the real betrayer. Is it Mr Kumaraswamy who caused the downfall of the BJP-led government in Karnataka or (Chief Ministerial candidate) Mr B S Yeddyurappa and the other leaders who have let down and ignored the party's loyal workers,'' they asked.

They accused the party leaders of supporting people with money power and the new entrants who boasted of caste support. ''Leaders like Mr Yeddyurappa, (party state president) Mr D V Sadananda Gowda and (party General Secretary) Mr H N Anant Kumar wanted us to follow them in droves before the elections, but once the elections are announced, they do not hesitate to back stab us,'' they complained.

The BJP had recently admitted a number of leaders from the Janata Dal (Secular) and the Congress. It had given tickets to former JD(S) leaders G T Deve Gowda and Bachche Gowda, Congress leader M Mahadevu and former CBI chief L Revannasiddaiah, who they claimed was not even a member of the party.

Meanwhile, the RSS was also unhappy with the party leadership in Karnataka. Sources said the Hindu outfit was unhappy that it was not taken into confidence before finalising the list of candidates and a few names proposed by it had been 'ignored'.

''Earlier, it was at Keshava Krupa (the RSS headquarters in the State), that the list used to be prepared. But now it is done in a resort on the outskirts of the city. They have not given due respect to RSS leaders, whose words were once faithfully followed by the BJP leaders. BJP will pay dearly if it ignores us,'' a RSS source warned.

Going a step ahead, BJP workers in Haveri district in the Bombay-Karnataka area burnt a banner of Mr Yeddyurappa for 'denying' a ticket to Mr U B Bankar, who had been elected from the district last time, and giving ticket to a new entrant in Hirekerur segment.


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