In a brazen mockery of B S Yeddyurappa's warning against party members attending Sangolli Rayanna Brigade meet, K S Eshwarappa not only attended the convention but ensured that his presence was evident at Kudala Sangama of Bagalkot on Thursday.
The Bharatiya Janata Party's central leadership has realised that the issue has been neglected for far too long and have called both leaders to Delhi on Friday for a meeting with party president Amit Shah. The senior party leadership that was busy with the five state polls had no time to pay attention to the rift in Karnataka. The public display of animosity between B S Yeddyurappa and K S Eshwarappa at the state executive meet in Kalburgi last week has come as a wake-up call for the party. The BJP is now trying to attempt a truce before things go out of hand.
In a press meet held on Wednesday, B S Yeddyurappa made it clear that none from 'his party' will attend the brigade convention. While he refused to specifically name Eshwarappa, the prominent backward classes leader was seen attending the convention on Thursday. "This is a platform to bring people from backward classes of the society together. This has got nothing to do with the party," Eshwarappa claimed.
"Both leaders have been called by Amit Shah on Friday. Senior leaders like Ananth Kumar and Sadananda Gowda will also be at the meeting. It is really embarrassing that this issue had to go to the central leadership. This could have been solved right here, if not for the egos of our leaders. Infighting is disgraceful for the party as well as its supporters," said a BJP leader who didn't want to be named.
The morale of the party cadres in Karnataka is at an all-time low with the two leaders at each other's throats. While many in the party are split, taking each leaders' side, others have chosen to remain neutral. Meanwhile, a signature campaign seeking BJP members' support to remove K S Eshwarappa from the post of leader of opposition in the legislative council for anti-party activities, is also underway. With both leaders adamant on having their way, neutral leaders in the party hope that the central leadership will be successful in patching things up for the Karnataka BJP.