BJP’s Eshwarappa Quits Electoral Politics: Did Corruption Cloud, Hopes of Son Rise Eclipse Position?

Veteran Karnataka BJP chief and five-time Shivamogga MLA KS Eshwarappa’s announcement of retirement from electoral politics will not be a choice taken in haste, however one taken in disappointment, say sources near the chief.

Insiders say there was a dialogue throughout the ballot candidate choice assembly in Delhi to ask him to hunt election from one other constituency resembling close by Bhadravati.

There was additionally hypothesis that the BJP central management was contemplating denying Eshwarappa a ticket on this election because the corruption controversy revolving round his title and the suicide of a contractor who alleged that he had demanded 40 per cent fee for works hit the BJP’s picture exhausting. A tag that the social gathering remains to be attempting exhausting to shake off on this election.

Writing to BJP’s nationwide president JP Nadda, Eshwarappa mentioned that previously few elections the social gathering has not been capable of get a full mandate from the folks of Karnataka and so he wish to work in the direction of bringing the saffron social gathering again to energy with out having to contest elections.

“I want to voluntarily retire from electoral politics. Therefore, it’s my request to not take into account my title for any constituency for the meeting elections this time,” the previous chief of the opposition within the legislative council wrote.

Nonetheless, there are a couple of extra points that led to this resolution, News18 has learnt. Eshwarappa has been lobbying for a ticket for his son Kanthesh for the Shivamogga seat. However, in a late-night assembly chaired by the PM, Modi made it clear that the social gathering ought to determine on shifting candidates or sitting MLAs who’ve gained their seat greater than twice to a different constituency whereas contemporary but robust BJP candidates needs to be given an opportunity. Within the BJP candidate listing introduced late on Tuesday night, Eshwarappa’s Shivamogga seat didn’t discover point out.

Nationwide president of BJP Yuva Morcha and MP for Bengaluru South Tejasvi Surya, in truth, praised Eshwarappa’s “resolution to create space for new-comers”.

“The BJP desires to make sure that there isn’t a tag of dynastic politics related to the social gathering. This a stand that they’ve taken towards the Congress however might come to boomerang in the event that they thought-about sons or daughters of MLAs within the listing. They may decide a candidate provided that she or he is able to successful. The excessive command was contemplating shifting Eshwarappa to the Bhadravati constituency which was not acceptable to the chief,” a BJP supply instructed News18.

Eshwarappa had additionally requested the social gathering leaders to not take into account his title for any meeting constituency however had been strongly backing his son Kanthesh for his seat in Shivamogga.

In his four-decades-long political profession, which started within the early Nineties, Eshwarappa, who will even flip 75 in July, has served within the capacities of deputy chief minister and minister within the numerous BJP governments that dominated Karnataka. That is the unofficial age bar within the BJP for leaders to contest polls and maintain places of work of place.

“Simply because the unwritten rule of 75 years applies to BJP leaders throughout the nation, it was additionally felt that standing for an election after which being requested to step down in a matter of months when he turns 75 will change into a significant embarrassment for the social gathering,” identified an in depth affiliate of the chief from Shivamogga.

The BJP chief has additionally been recognized for courting controversies along with his provocative feedback. Final month, he had questioned in public, whereas Azaan prayers have been taking part in from a mosque, whether or not “Allah is deaf” that loudspeakers are required to name him. There have been additionally tensions in Shivamogga final yr over allegations that Eshwarappa known as Tipu Sultan a “Muslim Goonda”. He additionally had run-ins with BS Yediyurappa and had at one level threatened to go on his personal along with his outfit Sangolli Rayanna Brigade. Each leaders are from Shivamogga.

In 2022, Eshwarappa stop as the agricultural growth and panchayat raj minister as a civil works contractor, Santosh Patil, dedicated suicide after accusing the chief of demanding a 40 per cent fee for highway works in Belagavi. This accusation hit the ruling BJP’s picture exhausting, after which he stepped down claiming he would show his innocence. The police probe into the case later gave him a clear chit however Eshwarappa was unable to persuade the social gathering excessive command to offer him a ministerial berth.

The opposition Congress rapidly made Eshwarappa a “poster boy of corruption” within the BJP and launched a marketing campaign towards the social gathering alleging its authorities demanded a 40 per cent fee and lives have been misplaced within the course of. That is additionally additional constructed into the “Pay CM” marketing campaign, which the Congress has successfully used to focus on the BJP.

“The social gathering excessive command has been very upset with the best way the Eshwarappa-contractor episode gave the opposition the right pitch proper earlier than the elections,” defined a state social gathering workplace bearer.

There might be a robust message when the candidate listing is introduced, mentioned one other BJP chief. “Heads might roll and the social gathering will attempt to keep away from giving tickets to these related to the corruption tag. It might embody non-performing sitting MLAs, veteran leaders, influential caste leaders, and anyone. The message of zero tolerance to corruption has to undergo,” the chief added.

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