Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah said BS Yeddyurappa will be the saffron party’s chief ministerial candidate in the state’s upcoming Assembly elections, PTI reported. The party president also said Vijay Rupani would continue as the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate in Gujarat.
“It [Karnataka election] will be fought under Yeddyurappa,” Shah said.
The BJP in Karnataka has suffered infighting recently. On May 1, former Karnataka Chief Minister Yeddyurappa had said the “confusion” within the state party unit would end soon. After the party’s poor performance in the recently-held bye-elections in Nanjangud and Gundlupet Assembly seats, the leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council, KS Eshwarappa, had rebelled.
In an apparent show of strength, Eshwarappa had floated the Rayanna Brigade, an apolitical forum of Dalits and backward classes. Yeddyurappa loyalists had also launched a campaign to have Eshwarappa removed as MLC leader of Opposition.
Shah had sent BJP National Secretary Muralidhar Rao to Karnataka to resolve the crisis. Rao had held meetings with the party’s state leaders, as Eshwarappa held a convention to “save” the organisation. BJP’s central leadership on Saturday had fired two office-bearers, one each from Yeddyurappa and Eshwarappa’s camps.
Yeddyurappa had led the party during its first victory in the state in 2008. He was forced to resign over corruption charges. He launched his own party in 2011 but returned to the BJP in 2014 after it failed to make a mark.
Amit Shah also projected that his party would win more than 150 seats in Gujarat’s 182-seat Assembly during the elections scheduled to be held later this year.