Leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) are quite upset with the bitter loss in the just-concluded Karnataka elections, sources said.
Internal discussions in the BJP has led the central leadership to conclude that general-secretary Ananth Kumar and former BJP president Nitin Gadkari are to be blamed for the loss, for they had allowed state leaders to create constant problems for B S Yeddyurappa, eventually forcing him to leave the party.
The loss of Bharatiya Janata Party’s southern bastion has irked several senior leaders of the RSS in Nagpur, who believe that while Yeddyurappa only won six seats in the state, he ensured BJP’s defeat in at least 47 seats in the assembly elections.
“Everybody knew that BJP would lose, but we had not expected that BJP would get only 40 seats. Our assessment was between 60-65 seats. It is sheer bad politics by central leaders, especially Ananth Kumar, for creating problems for B S Yeddyurappa. L K Advani and former BJP president Nitin Gadkari allowed the confusion to continue, instead of bringing it to an end,” said a senior BJP leader.
To make matters worse for BJP’s central leadership, state leaders from Karnataka as well as RSS leaders are writing strong-worded letters to RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat to complain that BJP’s central command, including Advani and Kumar, should be blamed the loss in the state. Senior RSS leaders are circulating a list of constituencies where Yeddyurappa managed to damage BJP, which has led to victory for the Congress candidates. The list contains details of the constituencies where BJP won, constituencies where Yeddyurappa’s Karnataka Janata Party (KJP) was victorious, and seats where the total votes of Bharatiya Janata Party and KJP were collectively more than the votes in favour of the Congress.
“BJP leaders in Delhi allowed infighting in Karnataka and promoted detractors of Yeddyurappa. Individual leaders from Karnataka were allowed to conspire against the former chief minister,” the BJP leader added.
BJP’s central command is now sending former party president Gadkari and general-secretary Dharmendra Pradehan to Karnataka on May 14 to help the newly-elected Members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) elect a leader.
The wrath of Yeddyurappa can also be gauged from the fact that 12 ministers of former chief minister Jagdish Shettar’s cabinet lost their seats, which included K S Eshwarappa, who was not only the deputy chief minister, but was also the former Karnataka BJP president and a well-known detractor of Yeddyurappa.