Karnataka BJP issues notice to former MLA Renukacharya, 10 others for ‘anti-party’ remarks

Renukacharya alleged that party workers were being threatened and asked some BJP leaders to shed their dictatorial attitude.

BySouth First Desk

Published Jun 30, 2023 | 3:26 PM Updated Jun 30, 2023 | 8:48 PM

Renukacharya Karnataka BJP infighting

The Karnataka unit of the BJP issued a notice to former MLA MP Renukacharya for his “anti-party” remarks.

He has been given a week’s time to give a written reply to the show-cause notice issued by the Disciplinary Committee of the party.

He was one of the 11 people from the party to have received such a notice, for allegedly indulging in “anti-party activity” during the Assembly election and causing embarrassment by making public statements against it and its leaders.

The decision was taken at a meeting of BJP leaders attended by state party president Nalin Kumar Kateel and former chief minister and parliamentary board member BS Yediyurappa, among others, on Friday, 30 June.

“It has been decided to inquire into those who have indulged in anti-party activities during the election, and take disciplinary action. We have personally spoken to those who are making statements that have caused embarrassment to the party. Notices have been issued, and they have been clearly told not to make such statements in the future,” Kateel told reporters after the meeting.

It may be noted that Renukacharya said on Thursday that Kateel should have resigned as Karnataka BJP chief by taking moral responsibility for the party’s Assembly poll debacle.

The election, held on 10 May, saw the Congress romp home by winning 135 seats in the 224-member Karnataka Assembly, while the BJP had to settle for a humbling 66 seats.

Targeting party leaders without taking any names, the former minister alleged that the BJP office had been turned into a “corporate office”, and urged them to introspect and work towards strengthening the party and boosting the morale of the workers ahead of the Lok Sabha elections and the zilla and taluk panchayat polls, among others.

Also Read: K’taka police register FIR against BJP IT Cell head Amit Malviya

Leaders cautioned

Asked about the details of who had been given notice, Kateel, without revealing names, said on Friday, “We have given notice to 11 people so far.”

Yediyurappa said that the party men had been instructed that none of them should make statements that would cause embarrassment to the BJP.

“We have called those who have made such statements and spoken to them. They have been told to be cautious and ensure that such a situation doesn’t arise, else appropriate action will be taken. A decision has been taken in this regard,” he said.

The party, meanwhile, officially released the notice served to Renukacharya, but not others.

Demand for Kateel’s resignation

Speaking to reporters in Bengaluru, Renukacharya, who represented the Honnali segment in the previous Assembly, alleged that party workers are being threatened and asked some leaders — without taking any names — to shed their dictatorial attitude.

Targeting the state BJP leaders, he said, “When Congress was announcing poll guarantees much before the elections, our leaders were sleeping, and the party manifesto, which came very late, did not even reach the people.”

Candidates to some seats were announced at the last moment, he said, “which also led to the loss”.

State president Kateel and other leaders travelled across the state but failed to convert the public response into votes, he complained while calling for the MP from Dakshina Kannada to take moral responsibility for the defeat and step down.

Questioning why Lingayat strongman BS Yediyurappa was made to step down as chief minister, Renukacharya said his removal from the CM post contributed to the party’s defeat in the Assembly election.

He also pointed out that denial of tickets to some senior leaders led to the defeat, and questioned, “Were they denied tickets to make way for your (leaders) chelas (followers)?”

Also Read: No end to BJP infighting in Karnataka post Assembly defeat

Infighting in BJP

More than a month since the Karnataka Assembly election ended in a debacle for the party, infighting has only intensified in the BJP.

While a blame game is afoot in the party ranks on who should be held responsible for the defeat, senior leaders have begun publicly demanding the resignations of office bearers.

Apart from MP Renukacharya, several other leaders too raised questions.

BJP veteran leader and former deputy chief minister KS Eshwarappa sparked controversy after he blamed “Congress influence” for indiscipline in the saffron cadre.

A day after blaming a section of BJP leaders, who were formerly affiliated with the Congress, Eshwarappa took a U-turn and clarified that he had not meant to accuse them of being responsible for indiscipline in the party.

The verbal war between two leaders of the Panchamasali sub-sect of the Lingayats — Vijayapura City MLA Basanagouda Patil Yatnal and former minister Murugesh Nirani — has escalated in the last few days.

At a party event in Vijayapura on Monday, 26 June, that was inaugurated by former chief minister Bommai, altercations were witnessed between the supporters of Nirani and Yatnal. Yatnal’s supporters demanded that the event not be inaugurated till the Vijayapura City MLA arrived at the venue.