BELAGAVI: The rift between BJP MLAs from the Mumbai-Karnataka region over the party ticket for the Rajya Sabha seat is getting wider, with Deputy Chief Minister Laxman Savadi favouring Prabhakar Kore for another Rajya Sabha term. This comes a day after the Katti brothers and a host of MLAs set the party an ultimatum, demanding the Rajya Sabha ticket for Katti.
Claiming to have the support of more than 24 party MLAs, the Katti brothers insisted that CM BS Yediyurappa and party high command field Ramesh Katti, former MP, for the Rajya Sabha seat falling vacant.
Their political bete noire Savadi openly backed Kore and said in Athani on Saturday that several party MLAs from North Karnataka, including him, have requested Yediyurappa to nominate Kore for a third term.
“Kore requested 25 to 30 MLAs from North Karnataka to support him for another term in Rajya Sabha. As Kore is a senior politician, we MLAs requested the CM to give him the ticket again,’’ Savadi said.
Savadi, however, said ultimately the party high command will take the final call. Lobbying for the RS seat has put the BJP leadership in a fix, as the Kattis will cause some damage to the party if they are ignored this time round.
Jarkiholis to back Kattis
It is an open secret that the elevation of Laxman Savadi as Deputy Chief Minister has not gone down well with many BJP MLAs. The fresh revolt by Lingayat MLAs has come as a blessing for the Jarkiholi brothers of Gokak, who were waiting for an opportunity to weaken Savadi’s political clout in Belagavi district.
Aware of the fact that the Lingayat MLAs are upset with the elevation of Savadi, the Jarkiholis have decided to rally behind them. Attempts are on by the Kattis and Jarkiholis to target Savadi also because the crucial election to the Belagavi District Central Credit Bank is coming up next month, and the Savadi group will be at loggerheads with the Katti-Jarkiholi group. Sources said the BJP top leadership is likely to intervene to resolve the cold war before it does any damage to the Yediyurappa government.
Satish: Will Kattis get their due?
The Congress is keenly watching the rift in the BJP over the Rajya Sabha seat. KPCC working president Satish Jarkiholi said the ongoing "fight" depended on whether Umesh Katti would manage to get the RS ticket for brother Ramesh.
On the Katti brothers’ ultimatum to the BJP, Satish said, "MLAs who defected from Congress to BJP hold top positions, obviously MLAs loyal to the saffron party will object to it.' Union Minister Suresh Angadi said, "The state government is in safe hands and functioning effectively under Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa."