Infighting within the BJP was exposed publically after former Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa was forced to cancel a BJP election campaign in the Chikkamagaluru district by his own party workers today. Yediyurappa was gheraoed by BJP workers allegedly supporting CT Ravi faction, who is the national general secretary of BJP.
Ravi had earlier dismissed Yediyurappa's declaration that his son BY Vijayendra would contest from Shikaripura in Shimoga district, a family stronghold constituency in the upcoming elections. Vijayendra had also slammed Ravi for his critical remarks about his father. The showdown today was caused due to the friction between Yediyurappa and CT Ravi.
As Yediyurappa arrived to lead the BJP's Vijay Sankalpa Yatra today at Mudigere constituency this afternoon, drama unfolded on the spot baring rifts within the party. Sources revealed that party workers and CT Ravi supporters gheraoed his car, demanding that MLA MP Kumaraswamy, who is eyeing another term at the Mudigere not be given an assembly ticket, reported NDTV. The ruckus led to the cancellation of the roadshow, leaving a visibly upset Yediyurappa.
Visuals that surfaced online from the spot show Yediyurappa leaving the location without participating in the yatra. Meanwhile, CT Ravi, who was also present at the location, walked with his supporters in the opposition direction.
Infamous for his unfiltered comments, the Mudegre MP is seen as a liability by a faction of the party. It was indicated that the demand for his removal was a challenge of sorts to Yediyurappa to exercise his heft within the party. The differences within the party have peaked as the state inches closer to Assembly Elections this May.
In Kortagere, ticket aspirants were seen fighting ahead of the visit of Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai today. Videos showing Kortagere assembly seat aspirants Lakshmikantr and Anil Kumar engaging in a public spat. The fight broke out over putting flex and banners in the region.
The BJP took power in Karnataka after the 2019 elected coalition government of HD Kumaraswamy and the Congress crashed a year after. Since then BJP has pushed the party for a second straight term but is in a soup due to infighting. The party has also had the most challenge in establishing itself as the popular choice in the Southern states.
The party's tallest leader in the South, Yediyurappa, was made to step down from the top post in 2011. This time, he said he would not contest the election but work behind the scenes. The party has been exhibiting unwillingness to give Vijayendra, Yediyurappa's younger son, a ticket or party post to ward off allegations of dynastic politics.
Furthermore, the Basavaraj Bommai government in Karnataka has been struggling under multiple allegations of corruption. In 2022, the opposition Congress had launched a mock campaign PayCM to highlight allegations that the ruling BJP was extracting 40 per cent commission from builders, contractors and others.