Amid dissidence in BJP, BS Yediyurappa finds unlikely supporter in Siddaramiah
Congress leader Siddaramiah claimed that the B JP’s Karnataka unit chief Nalin Kumar Kateel is a ‘cave dwelling wild man’ and ‘immature.’Updated: Oct 22, 2020, 21:14 IST
Karnataka chief minister B S Yediyurappa who is facing dissidence in the BJP has found unlikely support with leader of opposition and Congress Legislature Party head Siddaramiah attacking the saffron party’s state unit chief Nalin Kumar Kateel on Thursday.
Siddaramiah accused Kateel of working against the CM to unseat him. In a series of tweets, Siddaramiah, a former chief minister, “Nalin is the face of the anti-Yediyurappa squad within BJP and he has been given the task to create strong opposition against Yediyurappa within their party. This squad is working tirelessly to lose in by-elections and eventually blame B S Yediyurappa for the loss.”
The surprising backhanded support from Siddaramiah to the CM came two days after former Union minister and senior BJP leader Basvraj Patil Yatnal claimed that Yediyurappa’s days as CM were numbered. Yatnal also said that the party high command would replace Yediyurappa with a north Karnataka leader shortly.
Siddaramaiah also said, “Kateel lacks spine to control his leaders. He does not have any capability to take action against his own party leaders who are targeting his own party Chief Minister.” The Congress leader also claimed that Kateel is a ‘cave dwelling wild man’ and ‘immature.’
Earlier in the day independent legislator H Nagesh who supports the BJP and is currently the excise minister of the state, said that any move to jettison Yediyurappa would “finish not just the BJP government but the saffron party in the state”.
Kateel who is also the MP from Dakshina Kannada district on the campaign trail in the Sira assembly segment which goes to bypolls on November 3, again clarified that there was no question of any change in leadership and that Yediyurappa would be the CM for the rest of the term.
Refusing to comment further on the issue he said, “K S Eswharappa (Panchayati Raj Minister) and C T Ravi (national general secretary of BJP) have already made the party’s stance clear.”
Kateel also hit out at Siddaramiah on Twitter. “I think your (twitter) account must have been hacked, if so please complain to the police. This kind of language doesn’t bring you respect. In case the account has not been hacked, I sympathize at your intolerance,” he wrote.
Political analyst Manjunath commenting on Siddaramiah’s remarks said “The Congress leader is trying to just further the real internal divisions which exist between various factions within BJP. It is a fact that a section of BJP wants to oust Yediyurappa from Chief Ministership. Kateel is more of a Hindutva hardliner compared to Yediyurappa and thus the CLP leader’s remarks.”