Poaching exposes fissures in BJP, BS Yeddyurappa is accused of not consulting everything

BENGALURU: The repeated efforts by BJP state unit president BS Yeddyurappa + to topple the coalition government appear to have taken a toll on party legislators. Such has been his desperation to become chief minister, sources in the party said, that he has been alienating the experienced team in poaching MLAs and trusting the second-rung leadership to lure disgruntled Congress and JD(S) MLAs.

As a result, fissures have formed within the party as office-bearers and Yeddyurappa’s erstwhile lieutenants have distanced themselves from his efforts of bringing BJP back to power. According to sources, leaders like R Ashoka, Basavaraj Bommai, KS Eshwarappa, CT Ravi and others have distanced themselves from Yeddyurappa and left the poaching to CN Ashwathnarayan, Balachandra Jarkiholi and Arvind Limbavali.

Yeddyurappa is reportedly influenced a lot by his second son BY Vijayendra. Till about a month and a half ago, Ashoka was one of Yeddyurappa’s trusted lieutenants. However, the party president, following advice from a section of the leadership over Ashoka’s failure and boasts of bringing in disgruntled ruling party MLAs, decided to keep him outside administrative and political decisions.

“For about one and a half months, Ashoka and Yeddyurappa were not on talking terms as the former deputy CM was kept out of the loop when a meeting for three Bengaluru Lok Sabha seats was called. He had switched off his phone and Yeddyurappa had to send emissaries V Somanna and Prabhakar Kore to resolve their differences,” said a BJP leader.

The party is seeing serious competition between Ashoka, Ashwathnarayan, CT Ravi, DV Sadananda Gowda and Shobha Karandlaje in trying to become the Vokkaliga face.

Yeddyurappa is also said to have cut Bommai off from the core group. “Had it been Bommai, who has seen coalition politics up close even during Deve Gowda’s days, the party would hava better chance,” said a senior party legislator.

However, with the new crop of political leaders assuring Yeddyurappa of bringing 10-15 ruling coalition party MLAs to the BJP without concrete results, the situation boomeranged on him.

“The desperation of Yeddyurappa is evident from the fact that despite warnings from the high command and national president Amit Shah not to pursue power, he continues to believe he can become the chief minister,” said another party worker.