Karnataka: Three senior BJP leaders skip meeting called by BL Santosh
Senior BJP leaders skip meeting called by the party general secretary BL Santhosh in Bengaluru on Thursday
Three senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders skip the meeting called by the party general secretary (organisation) BL Santosh at Malleshwaram office in Bengaluru on Thursday, due to unknown reasons and without taking prior permission.
Santhosh held a meeting with party MLAs and MPs at the Malleswaram office in Bengaluru to prepare for the Lok Sabha polls. Majority of legislators attended the meeting and some who skipped had taken prior permission except Somashekar, Hebbar and former MLA MP Renukacharya.
Former minister and sitting BJP MLA ST Somashekar on Wednesday kicked off a fresh controversy after he attended the launch of the Gruha Lakshmi scheme in Yeshwanthpur constituency, while other BJP MLAs and leaders chose to distance themselves from the scheme’s launch state-wide.
Somashekar, who changed loyalties from Congress to BJP in 2019, played a pivotal role in supporting BS Yediyurappa’s ascent to chief minister. He subsequently won the bypoll and secured re-election from the Yeshwanthpur constituency on the BJP ticket. In the past few weeks, rumours have swirled about potential moves to re-enlist leaders who had joined the BJP in 2019 before the upcoming Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and Lok Sabha elections.
Former minister MP Renukacharya is miffed with the BJP for serving him a show cause notice for making statements against some of the state leaders. Speaking to reporters, Renukacharya said that he will not attend any meetings unless the notice is withdrawn.
“I have told openly whatever is happening in the party. I will not attend any party event unless they withdraw the notice. BS Yediyurappa and his son BY Vijayendra are being sidelined. Potential leaders are not being allowed to grow in the party,” Renukcharya said.
After the meeting, state BJP chief spokesperson MG Mahesh said that several issues including Lok Sabha polls were discussed. “All the legislators were invited for the meeting but some of them have skipped without giving any reason. We have discussed about the Congress’ operation to poach our leaders. It is an attempt to weaken the BJP,” Mahesh said.
According to party officials, during the meeting, Santosh claimed that 40 to 45 Congress MLAs were in touch with him. He added that even if leaders leave for Congress, the BJP is capable of poaching leaders from the Congress.