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Advani yatra only stokes rage within BJP

Yatra-bound leader asks for action against truant State Ministers from Yeddy camp, who in turn allege that the Ananth Kumar faction, patronised by Advani, is conspiring against them

The BJP appears to have plunged in an anarchic, and uncontainable, internal feud in the state, courtesy party patriarch L K Advani's rath yatra that inadvertently gave the warring rival camps a chance to show their muscle power.



Fresh from scoring a brownie point over the H N Ananth Kumar faction by dishing out doses of embarrassment to its patroniser and BJP patriarch L K Advani during his recent visit, an emboldened B S Yeddyurappa camp is throwing its weight around.

While a red-faced Advani has informally asked state party president E S Eswarappa to take disciplinary action against those ministers and MLAs who did not show up during the anti-graft rally, Yeddyurappa supporters are planning to approach the party high command to shed some light on the 'evil-designs' of the rival camp, which is allegedly working overtime to frame them in false cases.

No action
However, Eswarappa has ruled out any possibility of disciplinary action against the truant leaders.
"Everyone knows what kind of politics Advani and Ananth Kumar are playing to destabilise the party in the state.
 
Attending or not attending a rally is not an issue. We will approach the high command with the fact sheet to support our claim," said a minister from the Yeddyurappa camp.

 The supporters of the former chief minister are livid at Advani, who played an active role in ousting Yeddyurappa after the latter was indicted in the Lokayukta report on illegal mining.

Succumbing to the pressure from the rival camp, Yeddyurappa resigned in August and was eventually sent to jail, but he still holds immense clout over the party in the state.

According to sources, Yeddyurappa asked his supporters to skip the Advani's anti-graft rally and also the dinner party hosted by chief minister D V Sadananda Gowda in the honour of party patriarch, apparently to send out a clear message to the rival camp that rubbing him the wrong way, may cost the party dearly.

A handful of ministers and just 20 out of 122 BJP legislators were seen in the dinner party. Even as a hurt Advani is nursing his bruised ego and clamouring for action against the absentees, many in the party high command sympathise with Yeddyurappa.


BJP leader L K Advani's rath yatra in the city only widened the
divide between the Ananth Kumar camp and the B S Yeddyurappa faction


"As such, the rally was not a party programme and we were never told it was mandatory for us to attend. We could not go there because of various reasons, including the demise of the pontiff of the Sri Shaila Matt. And they cannot penalise us for that," said Umesh Katti, a minister loyal to Yeddyurappa.

Yeddy bail plea
Anticipating that Yeddyurappa would be released on bail soon, his supporters are planning to bargain for the post of BJP state president.

According to sources, and if the party does oblige the camp, they won't hesitate to divide the party. "It was Yeddyurappa who helped the BJP to come to power in the state. And we want him to lead the party in the next elections," said Katti.

JD(S) role in feud
According to political observers, JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda may also have played his role in stoking the uncontainable infighting in the BJP.

The JD(S), now a minor party with 24 MLAs, will have a political advantage, if the BJP is divided and Yeddyurappa forms his own outfit to fight the polls.

With the Reddys also planning to float a political party under B Sriramulu's leadership and Ashok Kheny, influential among a politically dominant Lingayat sub-sect of Pancahamasali, ready play a pivotal role, Deve Gowda is now devising a strategy to drive a multiple party coalition in the state.

"The strategy is advantageous for the small parties and they can take on the national parties the Congress and the BJP in the elections. But, it all depends on the fate of Yeddyurappa, who is hoping to get bail soon, and developments in the BJP in the coming days," said a source.

Looking for ammo
Meanwhile, the warring factions seem to be engrossed in scheming against each other. A source said Advani camp was ready with documents to fix Shoba Karanlaje and V Somanna ministers supporting Yeddyurappa in land scam.

Cases have already been booked against R Ashok and S A Ramdass ministers from Advani camp and Yeddyurappa's supporters are reportedly searching for documents against others from the camp, including Visweswara Hegde Kageri, minister for primary and secondary education.

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