BANGALORE: Even before it is to recover from its shock defeat in the March 18 by-election to Udupi-Chikmagalur Lok Sabha constituency, a blame game has begun among the two factions of the state BJP, accusing each other for the drubbing.
While the faction led by state BJP president K S Eshwarappa attributed the defeat to former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa’s move to herd his supporting MLAs to a resort ahead of the polls, functionaries in Yeddyurappa’s camp blamed Eshwarappa as well as CM D V Sadananda Gowda for the debacle.
“Was it right and wise for Yeddyurappa to revolt and take his supporting MLAs to a resort three days before polling? What signal has he sent to the electorate?” asked an MLA closely identified with both Eshwarappa and Ananth Kumar.
But another MLA identified with Yeddyurappa retorted, “The debacle is because of the arrogance of Eshwarappa and Sadananda Gowda. Where was the need for the CM to say that the party will win irrespective of any big leader campaigning or not. This naturally enraged the people, who consider Yeddyurappa as a leader of high stature.”
Eshwarappa’s repeated statements that the BJP would fight the elections under collective leadership has also contributed to the defeat, say party strategists.
“Collective leadership is essential for the organisation. In elections, people look at the leader and then decide to vote. Earlier, Yeddyurappa was the star campaigner; had he campaigned, results may have differed,” another legislator said.