The resentment came to the fore when senior party leader K S Eshwarappa openly criticised Yeddyurappa’s “unilateral” decisions in appointing office bearers and presidents of district units.
“These appointments were made without discussing these names in the party core committee meeting. This is wrong. I will question the appointments before the senior party leaders concerned,” Eshwarappa who is Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council, said a few days ago.
Eshwarappa who had also served as Deputy Chief Minister during BJP rule today held a meeting of leaders from various districts.
Sources said in the meeting concerns were expressed regarding the “high handedness” of Yeddyurappa’s loyalists and prominence given to those who were in his erstwhile outfit Karnataka Janata Party (KJP), while there were also voices in support of the Lingayat strongman.
Yeddyurappa was forced to resign as Chief Minister in 2011 over graft charges, following which he quit the party to form KJP.
He returned to BJP following the announcement of Narendra Modi as party’s prime ministerial candidate ahead of 2014 Lok Sabha polls and was recently appointed state party chief.
BJP leader C T Ravi, who attended the meeting, said “Party workers who have served the party for long time have expressed their feeling. Once Yeddyurappa returns from Delhi it will be discussed with him.”
Party General Secretary Aravinda Limbavali said the purpose of the meeting was to work out ways and means to synergise the strengths of the activists who earlier held positions and the present members of various committees after Yeddyurappa took over as the President of the state unit.
He said only those very few activists who could not be accommodated expressed their unhappiness in the meeting.
Nevertheless, the state leadership prevailed upon the workers to work in the larger interest of the party and the state, he added.
Also noting that office-bearers were present in the meeting as per the directions of the State President to give a patient hearing to the suggestions of the activists, Limbavali said it was also explained that Yeddyurappa held wide consultations with leaders and important functionaries and then announced the list of state office bearers, Presidents of various morchas and district presidents.
Commenting on the issue, Yeddyurappa loyalist Shobha Karandlaje said with trust on Yeddyurappa’s organisational skills, he has been given the party President position.
“He knows who should be made office bearers keeping next elections in mind, he is not new to the party,” she added.
Reacting to the developments, Union Law Minister D V Sadananda Gowda said any appointment within the party is the prerogative of the President.