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Is trouble brewing within the BJP in Karnataka?

By Vicky Nanjappa
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    Is all ok within the Karnataka BJP? The absence of B S Yeddyurappa from much of the campaign trail by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set off speculation and questions are being asked if all is ok within the party.

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi

    The first signs of trouble emerged after Yeddyurappa's son, Vijayendra was denied a ticket from the Varuna constituency. This led to a spate of protests and his followers took out a bike rally on Sunday urging the voters to exercise the NOTA option. They held placards with the Lotus symbol upside down.

    Yeddyurappa will attend only one rally to be addressed by Modi in the Chamarajanagar district. After that Yeddyurappa will visit other constituencies and continue campaigning for other candidates.

    The other point of contention has been the Reddy brothers, Janardhan Reddy to be specific. Yeddyurappa shared the stage with Reddy and this invited heavy criticism from the Congress. The incident took place a few days after BJP president, Amit Shah had said that the party has nothing to do with Reddy.

    Amidst the criticism, Yeddyurappa went on to say that having the Reddys around will be beneficial for the party. This too did not go down too well with the national leadership which has said that Reddy is campaigning for his friend Sriramulu and not the BJP. A couple of days later, Yeddyurappa too made a similar comment and said that the campaign by Reddy was for his friend Sriramulu who is contesting both from Molakmuru and Badami.

    While the BJP announced Yeddyurappa as its chief ministerial candidate very early, there is now talk of what could happen in case of a coalition. If the BJP has to seek the support of the JD(S) in the event of the party falling short, then there would be a cloud on Yeddyurappa's candidature. The JD(S) may not want Yeddyurappa as the CM in case it has to lend support to the BJP.

    The fact that Yeddyurappa would not take part much in the Modi led campaign has also caught the attention of the Congress. Karnataka Home Minister, Ramalinga Reddy said that Yeddyurappa would face the same fate that L K Advani did. He will be totally sidelined after the elections, Reddy also said. He also said that all does not look well within the BJP.

    BJP sources however rubbished this and said that it is a deliberate ploy to keep Yeddyurappa out of most of Modi's campaign. There is no point in putting all your resources in one place especially when there is so little time for the elections, he said. While Modi would address rallies, Yeddyurappa would campaign for other candidates. Even Amit Shah would campaign separately in other constituencies, the BJP leader also said.

    Karnataka Assembly Election dates
    Date of notification April 17
    Last date to file nominations April 24
    Last date to withdraw nominations April 27
    Date of polling May 12
    Date of counting May 15

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