BJP Parliamentary Board rejig: BSY makes strong comeback ahead of Karnataka polls


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By Manish Anand

New Delhi, August 17: The BJP Parliamentary Board and the party’s central election committee are essentially ornamental entities, existing to suggest collective decision making process.

Yet, their constitutions, while being symbolic, send out loud political messages, hinting at changing equations.

On Wednesday, the BJP announcement of the reconstitution of the two highest bodies bared changing political dynamics within the saffron outfit for Karnataka, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.

By inducting the former state chief minister BS Yediyurappa (BSY) in both the bodies, the BJP has sent out the message to the party’s powerful general secretary (organization) BL Santhosh to stop meddling in the affairs of the Karnataka unit of the party.

Additionally, the central BJP has admitted that BSY is the only hope for the party to retain power in Karnataka in the next year’s Assembly elections.

This is against the determined bid of MB Patil, the chief of the campaign committee of the Congress in Karnataka, playing the Lingayata card to push his chief ministerial candidature in the party.

Also, the Karnataka Congress chief DK Shivakumar has sought to breach the saffron Lingayata citadel by getting party’s former chief Rahul Gandhi to take a ‘deeksha’ at a Mutt.

While Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai hails from Lingayata, the BJP’s best hope still remains with BSY to hold the community forte.

Within the Karnataka BJP, it’s an open secret that Santhosh sought to clip the wings of BSY after becoming the party’s national general secretary (organization).

That BSY has come in the top two bodies of the BJP despite Santhosh is seen in the party circle in the state as a loud message that the saffron outfit will be heavily leaving on the veteran southern campaigner.

“BSY will have a major role in the ticket distribution in the Karnataka Assembly elections, and his presence in the top two bodies will check the rampant factionalism in the state unit of the party,” said a senior BJP functionary.

BSY was, incidentally, eased out of the office of the chief minister about a year ago on the age grounds.

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has lost his place in the BJP’s Parliamentary Board clearly on account of the state politics outgrowing him in the last few years with the rise of the Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

Gadkari’s political roles in the BJP had sharply dipped since the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, as he confined mostly to his ministerial works.

By axing Shivraj Singh Chouhan from the Parliamentary Board, the central BJP continues to keep one of the longest serving chief ministers on a tenterhook, while Madhya Pradesh goes to the polls next year.

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