Restless foot soldiers of BJP threaten to erode party's electoral prospects

Upstaging Modi or BJP is easier said than done
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Upstaging Modi or BJP is easier said than done

Highlights

This is the worst of the times for the State BJP. What could be worse than having the No.2 man in the party raising his eyebrows and voice at the threat of workers leaving the BJP and for mishandling the developments after the triple political murders in Dakshina Kannada district?

Bengaluru: This is the worst of the times for the State BJP. What could be worse than having the No.2 man in the party raising his eyebrows and voice at the threat of workers leaving the BJP and for mishandling the developments after the triple political murders in Dakshina Kannada district?

Shocked at the enormous success of 'Siddaramotsava' at Davanagere on Wednesday, Shah is now convinced that his own party in Karnataka immediately needed a major overhaul in terms of leadership as well as the government machinery to promote the party's programmes. He held a closed-door meeting with former Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa and later with State party chief Nalin Kumar Kateel and Chief Minister Bommai.

After the three political murders that were allegedly motivated by communal passions in Dakshina Kannada district, a number of loyal party workers in 12 districts, particularly in Old Mysuru, Bayaluseema, Malnad and Kalyana Karnataka, are threatening to raise banner of revolt. The support of grassroot workers of the party in these districts is badly needed by the BJP. Following alleged inaction of the government in bringing the murderers of BJP Yuva morcha leader Praveen Nettaru, to book, young saffron brigade is seething with anger. Such is the anger among the youth that the SUV carrying State BJP chief Nalin Kumar Kateel was attacked in his own constituency after the murder of Praveen.

According to senior leaders in the BJP, these are ominous signs for a party that is based on the bedrock of cadres, and such developments are nothing short of an uprising within, which is not good for the party which aims at winning 150 seats in the coming elections. The region that the BJP is aiming at improving its electoral tally in the State - Kalyana Karnataka- is dominated by Veera Shaiva Lingayats. Malnad - known for its pro BJP movements, Bayaluseeme and old Mysuru region- for its farmers and powerful leaders. These regions have more than 50 seats in the Congress kitty and JDS together which is what Shah and BJP president JP Nadda have their eyes for bringing back BJP to power in the State with a simple majority.

But the three murders in Dakshina Kannada have changed things for worse for BJP. The party cadres are accusing the government and the party leadership of not being able to 'manage' the police and the law department of the government.

Moola not trickling in?

Whether BJP or any other party depend on its ground-level workers and foot soldiers for all their party development activities at the ground level. "This needs money to percolate to every last one of it. It's a mistake if the party thinks that only Hindutva ideology is enough to win vote, we and our families must be prepared to go hungry. That could be a thing of past. Our workers do need to survive and provide for their families," say BJP workers. Similarly, the fringe groups within the party like Bajang Dal and others must be kept in good humour. They complain that adequate money is not coming and many of the foot soldiers are not happy about how things are going. This aspect has also been told to Amit Shah and JP Nadda during their visits by the party leaders."

Yeddyurappa was the first to meet one on one with Amit Shat on Thursday morning at Hotel Taj West End in Bengaluru and gave an analysis of the Congress' much touted, 'Siddaramotsava'. His analysis matched that of the State Intelligence as far as number of people attending the event where Rahul Ghandhi also spoke.

Even after announcing retirement from electoral politics, Yediyurappa has assumed the role of 'mentor' or that of an 'ombudsman' of the party, which even Shah and Nadda appear to have approved and this is the first occasion when BSY displayed his commitment to the development of the party after his retirement.

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