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K’taka BJP leader slams Yediyurappa after son denied LS ticket

The former Deputy CM alleged that Yediyurappa deliberately gave the Haveri ticket to Bommai despite promising that the party would pick Kantesh from the seat…reports Asian Lite News

Miffed after his son was denied a ticket for the Haveri-Gadag Lok Sabha seat, senior BJP leader KS Eshwarappa on Wednesday laid the blame on former chief minister and Lingayat stalwart BS Yediyurappa.

Sulking after the BJP put former CM Basavaraj Bommai on the ticket for the Haveri-Gadag Lok Sabha constituency, the senior BJP leader claimed Yediyurappa had promised that his son KE Kantesh would be the party’s candidate for the seat.

Making no bones about his misgivings on Wednesday, Eshwarappa told reporters, “Yediyurappa promised KE Kantesh will get the BJP ticket from Haveri. Taking him at his word, Kantesh was directing his efforts on Hageri, trying to win the trust of the people. However, my son was eventually denied a ticket. Yediyurappa cheated us.”

He claimed that his supporters were urging him to contest the Shimoga seat as an Independent, opposite Yediyurappa’s son BY Raghavendra, as a mark of protest.

“The party unit in Karnataka is in the hands of a family. There is a call within to protect the party from the family. Aren’t there any other Lingayat leaders in Karnataka? Yediyurappa ensured tickets for Shobha Karandlaje and Basavaraj Bommai. Why then was my son Kantesh ignored? This is grave injustice,” the senior BJP leader said.

“I have served the party faithfully for 40 years. CT Ravi, Sadananda Gowda, Nalin Kumar Kateel and Pratap Simha have also come out in my support, saying it was unfair,” Eshwarappa claimed.

The former Deputy CM alleged that Yediyurappa deliberately gave the Haveri ticket to Bommai despite promising that the party would pick Kantesh from the seat.

“Bommai said at the election committee meeting that he wasn’t keeping well and wouldn’t contest the Lok Sabha elections. Bommai said the Haveri ticket should go to Kantesh. Despite expressing his unwillingness to contest the polls, he was put on the ticket. Yediyurappa deliberately gave Bommai the ticket for Haveri. Yediyurappa’s decision is unfair for party loyalists,” he said.

Saying that his supporters were urging him to contest the elections from Shimoga, Eashwarappa said, “They (his supporters) are saying that if you contest (Shimoga), you will win. Also, I want Modi to be PM again.”

On Eshwarappa being ‘unhappy’ over the denial of the Haveri ticket to his son, Bommai said earlier, “I had urged the Parliamentary Board to give a ticket to KE Kantesh to ensure social justice but the national leaders picked me, instead, to ensure the party’s victory from the seat. Eshwarappa is a very senior and valued party colleague and he would be given the respect that he deserves.”

“The party workers wanted sitting MP DV Sadananda Gowda to contest again from the Bengaluru North Lok Sabha constituency. Both Eshwarappa and Sadananda Gowda would be given plum positions in the party,” he added.

On Eshwarappa blaming his father for the denial of a ticket for his son, Yediyurappa’s son and sitting MP BY Raghavendra said the party leaders would reach out to him.

“Eshwarappa is upset. Anyone in his place would be hurt. It is normal to feel pain in such cases. I don’t know why they (Eashrappa and his son) didn’t get tickets. However, I have no clue why he accused BS Yediyurappa. It seems he holds the wrong opinion about my father. I am sure that party seniors would reach out to him and sort matters,” Raghavendra said.

Thanking the party leadership for naming him as the candidate from Shimoga, he said Prime Minister Narendra Modi would visit the constituency on March 18 to campaign for him.

“I feel blessed to be the BJP candidate again. I am grateful to the party leadership for reposing its faith in me. Prime Minister Modi has set us a target of more than 400 seats (for NDA). He will be visiting Shimoga on March 18. Our campaign will start with his visit,” Raghavendra said.

On March 13, the BJP released the second list of 72 Lok Sabha candidates, including three former chief ministers and four Union Ministers.

In Karnataka, the party fielded Union Minister Pralhad Joshi from Dharwad, Tejaswi Surya from Bangalore South constituency, Bommai from Haveri and PC Mohan from Bangalore Central.

The BJP also named Raghvendra from Shimoga and V Sommana from Tumkuru.

The party released its first list of 195 candidates earlier this month, featuring PM Modi from Varanasi, Home Minister Amit Shah from Gandhinagar and Mansukh Mandaviya from Porbandar. (ANI)

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