Am an independent, no more with BJP to face disciplinary action: rebel leader Eshwarappa


PTI, Apr 16, 2024, 7:39 PM IST

A day after Karnataka BJP President B Y Vijayendra warned about the party cracking the whip against him, rebel leader K S Eshwarappa, who has decided to contest as an independent in Shimoga Lok Sabha segment, on Tuesday said he is independent and no more with the party to face such disciplinary action.

Eshwarappa, a former Deputy Chief Minister who had also served as the party’s state unit President, has entered the fray blaming Vijayendra and his father and veteran party leader B S Yediyurappa for his son K E Kantesh being denied the ticket to contest from Haveri.

Vijayendra’s brother and MP B Y Raghavendra is the BJP candidate from Shimoga.

“What disciplinary action he (Vijayendra) will take, when I’m contesting as an independent? Contesting as an independent means, I have come out of the party. As the BJP state President he doesn’t even know what contesting as an independent means,” Eshwarappa said.

Speaking to reporters here, the 75-year-old said he was an independent and is not with the BJP.

“Take whatever disciplinary action you want. I don’t fear such threats. My intention is similar to that of PM Narendra Modi. Modi says he is fighting against family politics of Congress’ Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi at the centre, while my (Eshwarappa) efforts are towards bringing out the party from the clutches of father and sons (Yediyurappa and sons). You (Vijayendra) should resign,” he added.

Vijayendra for the first time on Monday spoke about the party taking disciplinary action against Eshwarappa.

Eshwarappa remained steadfast on his decision to contest, spurning efforts by party leaders to pacify him. He has even filed his nomination as an independent candidate.

Noting that Vijayendra is the state President, his brother is an MP and their father is the member of th central election committee, Eshwarappa sarcastically said, “if anyone is left out in the family, give them also the positions, the party is to serve your family.”

Lakhs of workers have shed their blood and sweat to build the party, he said. “What is your (Vijayendra) contribution? Speak carefully….go and see how much anger people have against you even in Shikaripura, people are saying you won the assembly elections there with money, in this election there is no money factor, people are with me. I will do ‘shikari’ (huntdown) of the father and sons in Shikaripura, I won’t let them this time.”

Hitting out at Eshwarappa, Vijayendra on Monday said his brother Raghavendra, who is seeking re-election, will win the Shimoga seat by over two lakh votes and people will teach a lesson to Eshwarappa.

Reacting to this, Eshwarappa on Tuesday said: “I will not give value to loose talks and what Vijayendra has said. I would like to ask what eligibility he has to become the state President? For 40 years I have put my efforts into this party. Because of your father’s efforts you have become the state President. You have no right to talk..”

People of Shivamogga district and city know what Eshwarappa has done for them, he said. “You (Vijayendra) don’t know the people of Shivamogga city. In Shikaripura your lead had come down from sixty thousand to ten thousand despite great efforts. I don’t know how much money you (Vijayendra) have spent. In the next election you will see…”

Warning Vijayendra that if he speaks lightly, he will have to respond with a “different language”, Eshwarappa said: “You are still a ‘bachcha’ (kid), because of your father you have got this position. Keep this in mind. I have made penance for this party for 40 years, you don’t have the right to criticise me.”

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