For over a week now, two unsigned letters (in English and Kannada) have been circulating in BJP circles, citing Yediyurappa’s age and failing health’ and his attempts to empower his son, and demanding the appointment of a new chief minister. Yediyurappa, who turns 77 on February 27, has drawn the ire of senior BJP leaders, such as Umesh Katti, Basanagouda Patil Yatnal, Murugesh Nirani, M.P. Renukacharya, Siddu Savadi, Sanganna Karadi and Anand Mamani, as they were left out of the cabinet. Katti and Nirani met BJP president J.P. Nadda in the first week of February to lodge a complaint.
The rebellion’ against Yediyurappa has been launched by Lingayat leaders in the state BJP. The Lingayats, the sect to which Yediyurappa also belongs, make up about 17 per cent of Karnataka’s population and have been BJP loyalists. The infighting began when BSY, beholden to the 10 MLAs who had defected from the Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) last year and helped the BJP come to power in Karnataka, was forced to accommodate them in government.
There is also disgruntlement over efforts to prop up Vijayendra, with a senior BJP leader saying that dynastic rule will not be tolerated in the party
With age catching up, Yediyurappa wants to cement positions for his sons in the BJP, says N. Prakash, a Mysuru-based political analyst. The induction of the 10 disqualified MLAs had already enraged party veterans. Yediyurappa’s supporters are ganging up on him.
The appointment of the 10 MLAs itself was marked with drama, and Yediyurappa had to change the portfolios of six of them within a day. Katti has gone public with his attack on Yediyurappa. I have been a minister for 13 years. With God’s grace, my aim now is to occupy the chief minister’s post, he said.
The miffed ministerial aspirants have lately been joined by more rebels’ Mohan Limbikayi, S. Munenkoppa, C.M. Nimbannavar, Aravind Bellad, Mahesh Kumtahalli and Shashikant Akkappa Naik. We will intensify our fight in March after the chief minister’s birthday celebrations, said one of them.
While Yediyurappa’s followers have dismissed the letters as mischief by a few irate legislators, Prakash cautions: The issue will affect the image of the government, which has hardly anything to show in terms of performance. Yediyurappa should also downplay his son’s role in the BJP.
Source INDIA TODAY