The former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa met Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national president Rajnath Singh, who was in the city to attend an RSS meet, on Sunday and put forth a strong case in support of his followers, who are either not reinducted into the party or not promised ticket for the Lok Sabha elections.
Sources in the party told The Hindu that Mr. Yeddyurappa was closeted with Mr. Singh at Thanisandra nearly for half an hour. He urged Mr. Singh to take a speedy decision on the candidates for Tumkur, Bidar and Udupi-Chikmaglur Lok Sabha constituencies. Mr. Singh reportedly promised Mr. Yeddyurappa that a decision would be taken by Monday in consultation with the RSS.
The party has not announced candidates for eight constituencies including these three. G.S. Basavaraj, incumbent MP for Tumkur, had incurred the wrath of the BJP after he supported Mr. Yeddyurappa when the latter formed the Karnataka Janata Paksha. Gurupadappa Nagamarapalli, Bidar MLA, who along with Mr. Yeddyurappa re-joined the BJP, is keen on contesting the Lok Sabha polls from Bidar. Also, Mr. Yeddyurappa wants suspensions of V. Dhananjay Kumar, Lehar Singh, and others withdrawn and the loyalists given suitable positions in the party. Sources also said the issue of re-admission of B. Sriramulu to the party too figured in the meeting.
However, Shobha Karandlaje, a close associate of Mr. Yeddyurappa, told The Hindu that she was earlier keen on contesting from the Bangalore North constituency if D.V. Sadananda Gowda or R. Ashok were not interested. “As the party has announced the candidature of Mr. Gowda, I prefer to focus on the next Assembly elections. If the party directs me to contest from the Udupi-Chikamaglur seat, I will abide by the decision. However, it is better if local leaders contest from there,” she said.
Meanwhile, M.D. Lakshminarayana, MLC, who had sent a 15-point letter to Mr. Yeddyurappa about the fate of the latter’s loyalists, told The Hindu that the loyalists did not want to bypass Mr. Yeddyurappa to reach out to the central leaders. Mr. Yeddyurappa has promised us to resolve the issue by Wednesday and we would wait, he added.