Mangaluru: It is reliably learnt that intense lobbying to elevate Dakshina Kannada (DK) M P Nalin Kumar Kateel to the helm of the state BJP, is underway in full swing by some sections of the Sangh Parivar and the BJP. The tenure of the incumbent BJP President Pralhad Joshi would formally end in March 2016.
Multiple credible sources in the BJP and the Sangh Parivar confirmed to Newskarnataka.com that the National Joint General Secretary (organization) BJP, B L Santosh is making all out efforts through various channels to ensure that Kateel, is named President of the state BJP, while workers are intent on former Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa being given the mantle. They suggested that a popular Kannada news publication has been tasked with portraying Nalin as the No.1 MP of the state as part of a of an ‘image-building strategy by Santoshji’ to enable him to scale up his ranking in the eligibility stakes for the post.
A series of felicitations for the MP, who was declared as No 2 MP in India by a news publication after conducting an online survey could also be seen as a strategy by a faction lead by Santosh-Ji.
Dissent in the RSS
However, the perception in some sections of the RSS and the BJP has been contrary to the picture being built for the MP. Kshetreeya Karyakarini Sadasya, RSS, Dr Prabhakar Bhat is miffed with this development. A source close to Bhat claimed that the DK think tank of the RSS feels that MP's functioning and performance as a parliamentarian falls short of his expectations. “The No 1 MP’s mobile phone is unreachable, busy or switched of most of the times for workers.”
Ardent followers and close loyalists of Bhat say Nalin is out of reach of many ground-level cadres of the BJP and the RSS. However, another faction of the Sangh Parivar headed by Santosh, popularly known as Santosh-Ji has been batting for the MP. It could be recalled that, while Nalin was about to lose the coveted MP ticket ahead of intensely fought general elections last year, Santosh covertly rushed to the rescue of Nalin and secured the ticket for him.
It could be noted that bickering between Santosh-Ji and Dr Prabhakar Bhat for power in the Sangh Parivar is significant in bringing Kateel to one of the plum posts of the BJP. “Nalin being a loyalist of Santosh-Ji would act as instrument for Santosh to deal with the affairs of the BJP,” a source close to Dr Bhat revealed to this news portal. Kateel is a pawn in the bigger game for ‘power tussle’ between senior RSS leaders.
The names of K S Eshwarappa, BJP Vice-President B S Yeddyurappa and M P, Udupi-Chikmagalur Shobha Karandlaje have also been doing the rounds for the post of state president of the BJP.
According to highly placed sources in the national BJP, the larger aim of this political agenda is to keep Yeddyurappa away from the state politics, as he is eyeing the post of Chief Minister of Karnataka and place only loyalists of Santosh and Ananth in power centers. Another source in the BJP said the competition for the CM seat between Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers Ananth Kumar and Yeddyurappa is one of the reasons that is empowering anti-Yeddyurappa faction in the state.
Sources close to B S Yeddyurappa told Newskarnataka.com that workers are demanding former Chief Minister be made as the President of the state BJP arguing his presidentship would not create spilt in the state BJP. The source further added that Yeddyurappa has sternly ordered state BJP and RSS top heads to keep Santosh-Ji away from state politics.
Nalin Kumar Kateel says its speculation
M P Nalin Kumar Kateel speaking to Newskarnataka.com said all this is all speculation by media persons and he is not an aspirant for the post. When specifically questioned on the lobby and if there was an offer for you to assume the post he reterirated that he wants to focus on his constituency. “I am not running behind the post.” Santosh-J, when contacted, also termed this news as speculation and contended he is not lobbying for any person in the BJP.
Shobha Karandlaje, when contacted, categorically stated that she is not in the race. “I will accept any decision of the party leadership”.
“I am not in the race,” clarified BJP Opposition leader K S Eshwarappa. Though he argued there was no discussion on this till date, he intriguingly added, that the party should give preference for a ‘newcomer’.
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