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Rediff.com  » News » One storm over, another hits BJP in Karnataka

One storm over, another hits BJP in Karnataka

July 09, 2012 17:59 IST

Having succumbed to the pressure to change the chief minister of the state, the Karnataka unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party is now encountering a new crisis.

The Vokkaliga community, which was upset after D Sadananda Gowda was replaced by Lingayat leader Jagadish Shettar as chief minister, has now asked all ministers and MLAs belonging to the community in the BJP to resign immediately.

A community delegation first met BJP national general secretary Ananth Kumar and pressed upon him to appoint state Home Minister R Ashok as deputy chief minister.

However, during the meeting, Kumar told them point blank that nothing much could be done about it and that the party did not believe in the policy of having a deputy chief minister.

The delegation then intensified their protest and met Dharmendra Pradhan, in-charge of BJP affairs in Karnataka, and raised their concerns.

They have also been demanding that Gowda be made state BJP president immediately.

The Vokkaligas have warned that if their demands are not met they would ensure that all community MLAs quit the party. They also warned that the party would face the wrath of the community in the elections scheduled for next year.

A worried BJP is looking to take a middle path on the issue.

They are toying with the idea of making Gowda the state party president, but to do so they would need to convince current party president, K S Eshwarappa to step aside.

However, sources say that when Gowda was convinced by senior leaders in Delhi to step down, he was not assured of the post of party president. He was told that if the transition is peaceful they would accommodate him in New Delhi as a member of the Rajya Sabha.

Vicky Nanjappa