National

Veteran BJP Leader Eshwarappa Expresses Displeasure Over Indiscipline In Party, Blames Cong Turncoats

Accepting that there is some amount of indiscipline in the BJP, the former deputy chief minister, while blaming the Congress' "influence" on a few in the party for it, said that the party high command is strong and will take action at an appropriate time to control it.

Karnataka minister KS Eshwarappa.(File photo)
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With statements from some Karnataka BJP leaders that “adjustment politics” contributed to the party’s rout in the Assembly elections sparking off a political debate, veteran leader K S Eshwarappa on Monday expressed displeasure about party discipline being "flouted", and urged the state president to take necessary steps to curb it.

Accepting that there is some amount of indiscipline in the BJP, the former deputy chief minister, while blaming the Congress' "influence" on a few in the party for it, said that the party high command is strong and will take action at an appropriate time to control it.

"It is unfortunate that such discussions are happening openly in the BJP. If such things have happened, it should have been discussed sitting inside four walls. I have spoken to our state president and have requested him to call those who were speaking openly, and talk to them and end the issue," Eshwarappa said.

Speaking to reporters here, he said, "I will also request those who are making open statements -- that the party workers are already in pain due to election loss -- let's not give open statements that may further hurt the disciplined party. If anything, bring it to the notice of the state president and leadership."

Asked whether the discipline in BJP has "gone", the senior leader blamed defectors from the Congress for the purported change. "Here and there, discipline has gone as the party has grown. When only four of us were there, there was a lot of discipline. Today, BJP has presence across the country, it is now the world's largest party. So here and there, Congress' wind has affected us, as many from Congress have also joined us," he claimed.

When it was pointed out that it was BJP leaders who got people from Congress to join the party, he said, "As we got them, we are suffering today... Our high command is not weak and will take action when necessary."

In the May 10 Karnataka elections, the Congress ousted the BJP from power, winning 135 seats in the 224-member Assembly. BJP got just 66 seats and the Janata Dal (Secular) headed by former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda managed a mere 19.

Mysuru MP Pratap Simha had recently alleged that some leaders of the BJP were involved in “adjustment politics” with a section of the Congress leaders, and it was one among the factors that contributed to the party's defeat in the Assembly polls.

Questioning why Congress leaders had not lodged complaints against the BJP government regarding the “40 per cent commission” among other scams during the previous regime, after creating a hue and cry on the issue, he had said, “If there is no adjustment with BJP leaders, these allegations should be probed,” 

Simha had also pointed out that though the then ruling BJP leaders had threatened to make public the Kempanna Commission report, which went into alleged denotification of land in Arkavathy Layout during the previous Siddaramaiah-led Congress regime, it was never tabled in the State Legislature.

BJP national secretary C T Ravi too had recently claimed that there was “adjustment politics” within the BJP, which had led to the party’s defeat. 

Though Simha and Ravi had not named anyone, it was largely seen as comments directed at former Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and his predecessor B S Yediyurappa. 

Meanwhile, Union Minister Pralhad Joshi said he had told Prathap Simha, who had made open statements, that it was "not right".

"Bommai did a good job for two-and-half years. In politics, some times despite good work, due to various perceptions, we might have lost. But when we lost, indulging in such public discussion is not right. I have advised that if you (Simha) have any issues, speak to state or national leaders or those concerned, and he has agreed," he said.

Asked about Eshwarappa's statement being seen as him blaming those who joined the BJP from Congress for indiscipline within, Joshi said that was not his intention, and that he has spoken in his natural course.

"What he (Eshwarappa) meant was -- looking at Congress, some of our own have also become like them," he added.

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