Former chief minister Yeddyurappa’s Karnataka Janata Party (KJP) that was floated with much fanfare, is now rocked by dissidence. The cold war in the KJP came to the fore with local leaders and rebels within the party indulging in verbal duels.
This development has worried the leaders, including Yeddyurappa, who was keen to put up a strong show in the ULB elections in Mysore and Chamrajnagar. The rank and file of the party is now divided against a few leaders.
The appointment of former minister Shobha Karandlaje as Mysore and Chamrajnagar district in-charge, induction of MLC Mallikarjunappa to KJP and appointing Panish as general secretary has come in for strong criticism from supporters of Ka Pu Siddalingaswamy and farmer leader Mallesh. Siddalingaswamy, took people to the Haveri rally, is said to be upset with Shobha’s appointment.
Partymen charge that these leaders have started bulldozing their writ on those who built the KJP from scratch. A few workers blamed Shobha for the unrest and dissidence. The induction of Mallikarjunappa, opening of a parallel office in Chamrajnagar and inviting applications from aspirants has worried many partymen.
District KJP president Shivabasappa, a prominent Veerashaiva leader, alleged that the community has been taken for a ride. He said that they would field independent candidates if the party leaders neglect prominent workers.
Yeddyurappa played down dissidence and accused the media of hyping it. He told Mallesh and others to agree to the candidacy of MLC Mallikarjunappa, who is his choice in Chamrajnagar.
Yeddyurappa held closed door talks with his supporters, including Siddalingaswamy. A senior leader and ticket aspirant admitted that the ego clash and dictatorial attitude of a few has demoralised workers and made people to rethink on contesting polls.