Leadership to Bommai: Checkmate to BJP veterans

Leadership to Bommai: Checkmate to BJP veterans

Amit Shah's statement projecting Bommai as CM candidate for 2023 Assembly elections makes BJP veterans annoyed 

Bengaluru: Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s announcement that BJP will face 2023 Assembly elections under the leadership of Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has given a jerk to former Chief Minister B.S.Yediyurappa for his proposed statewide tour after the Ganesha festival. 

Mr. Yediyurappa has getting ready to embark state tour after the festival; his new Toyota Vellfire- a high-end seven-seater car is ready for this purpose. But Amit Shah’s announcement has been unexpected to BJP veterans, including former Chief Minister B.S.Yediyurappa. 

Amit Shah's statement has not gone well with party senior leaders, former Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, K.S.Eshwarappa and others. These leaders are trying to downplay the statement of Mr. Shah. Mr. Eshwarappa, however, said that the 2023 Assembly elections will be contested under collective leadership. Mr. Shettar has reportedly upset with a statement of Mr. Shah and met the former Chief Minister B.S.Yediyurappa at his residence on Saturday. Both leaders have discussed at length, decided to wait and watch the situation. 

Mr. Yediyurappa told Mr. Shettar said that let party central leadership come out with a statement in this regard. 

However, party insiders believed that Amit Shah's statement comes after BSY announced his state tour. Even party central leadership doesn’t want to antagonize Lingayat strongmen considering his support base in the Lingayat belt. Party leaders are wary about the BSY state tour.

Sources in the party said that BJP leaders questioning the timing of BSY state tour and its purpose. If he takes a statewide tour, there is a chance of rebel and disgruntled MLAs, who missed Cabinet birth joins hands with BSY and it would bring fresh trouble to the Bommai government, BJP insiders says. 

Another argument putforth by the BJP state unit is that, when the BJP government is in power, taking state tour by BSY and hearing the people's grievances would paint a negative image to the Bommai government, leaders argued. 

Earlier, Mr. Yediyurappa decided to embark state tour on his own. Later, party leaders have reminded him that his tour should be under the party platform, and the party has prepared the tour schedule. So he decided to postpone the tour, sources added. 

Now, the statement of Mr. Shah has made heartburn to BJP senior leaders. His statement of projecting Bommai as CM candidate for 2023 elections clearly indication that BJP is unlikely to give tickets to veterans, especially Mr. Eshwarappa and Jagadish Shettar, in the 2023 Assembly elections. 

In fact, as a practice in National parties, Assembly elections will be faced under the leadership of the incumbent Chief Minister. In 2013 BJP has faced Assembly elections under the leadership then Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar. In 2018 Congress has faced the elections then Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. 

There is nothing surprising in the statement of Amit Shah. Normally ruling party would face the elections under the incumbent Chief Minister. In all BJP ruling states, the party has faced elections under the leadership of the incumbent Chief Ministers. But in Karnataka, senior BJP leaders have still not been able to digest the appointment of Basavaraj Bommai for the CM post as they considered him as an ‘outsider’ to the party. According to so-called senior leaders, CM post should go to leaders who have a strong RSS base.