KASARAGOD: The decision of the RSS to impose its candidate, Ravisha Thantri Kuntar, on Manjeshwar has brought out the differences between the organisation and a section of BJP workers in the open.
On Sunday, many workers openly protested against Ravisha’s candidature during the Manjeshwar panchayat convention of the BJP.
“The meeting was supposed to start at 5.30 pm. But even at 6 pm, the workers led by organising secretary L Ganesh did not allow the chairs to be arranged in the hall,” said a worker. A section of workers in the BJP’s Kumbla panchayat committee is also against the RSS pick, said sources.
“It is a fight for supremacy between the RSS and the BJP in Manjeshwar. As of now, the RSS is having the say,” said a leader. However, two BJP leaders officially denied that there was any rift in the party.
“There can be disagreement. But if someone goes overboard with their protest, they will be isolated in a party like the BJP,” said BJP former district president.
The BJP has been in the second position, giving a tough competition for the winning candidate in Manjeshwar for many years, and is always in a campaign mode in the constituency.
TV channel crew attacked
Asianet reporter and camera person, who reached the venue where the BJP’s Manjeshwar panchayat convention was being held, were attacked allegedly by BJP workers.
They also damaged the camera. Reporter Mujeeb Cheriyampurath said they reached the venue to cover the convention. “On seeing us, BJP workers closed the door. When our cameraman Sunil Kumar tried to take some visuals through the wedges of a window, a group of workers menacingly charged at us,” he said.
Mujeeb managed to run, but Sunil Kumar was caught and assaulted. “They also damaged the camera,” he said. They have filed a complaint with Manjeshwaram police. However, BJP leaders said it was a closed-door meeting and the Asianet crew hung around despite being asked to leave.
“They could have been assaulted because of that,” said the leader quoted in the second instance.