The BJP's election campaign in Bellary suffered a major setback yesterday, the last day of the public canvassing, as its star campaigner B S Yeddyurappa was taken ill and confined to a hospital bed in the city.
B S Yeddyurappa was taken to the hospital on the last
day of public campaign for Bellary bypoll
But Yeddyurappa's sudden illness has raised the eyebrows of many in the party. According to sources in the BJP, the former chief minister's decision to withdraw from the campaign at the eleventh hour was a calculated move to help rival leader B Sriramulu win the election.
The former chief minister, who was suffering from cough and sore throat, has been admitted to Sagar hospital. And in the absence of a leader of his stature, the BJP poll managers in battlefield have surely developed migraine.
"Yeddyurappa is the leader who is seen as the finisher of the poll campaign. Usually, he would lead the party from the front. But this is the first time he has dumped the party in such a crucial time. While this is something strange, his reluctance is indicating the rot inside the party," said a BJP leader.
But, the members of Yeddyurappa camp refused to buy the argument that he was just pretending to be unwell. "Yeddyurappa is genuinely ill and he is hospitalised. He campaigned for the party candidate B Ramprasad and we will win the polls," said Girish Mattennavar, a BJP leader belonging to the former chief minister's faction.
As per the original plan Yeddyurapppa was supposed to camp in Bellary supervising the poll campaign on Sunday. He was scheduled to conduct a road show along with Chief Minister Sadananda Gowda and state president K S Eswarappa.
"Yeddyurappa was getting ready for Bellary tour on Sunday, when we found him unwell. He dropped the tour plan after we advised him to under go treatment for cough and throat infection," said Dr P Jagadishchandra, the physician attending to Yeddyurappa at Sagar Hospital.