Thursday, June 20, 2024

Karnataka Assembly polls: PM Modi dials Eshwarappa amid tiff rumours, Cong says endorsing ‘illegal activities’

Former deputy chief minister of Karnataka and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader KS Eshwarappa got a call from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on as the crucial state assembly election draws close amid an exodus of disgruntled senior BJP leaders on being denied a ticket.

The call seemed like a cautionary step after 10 legislators quit the saffron party ahead of the Karnataka Assembly Elections. This includes former Chief Minister Jagdish Shettar, another former CM Laxman Savadi, S Angara, R Shankar, among others.

Eshwarappa had earlier in April announced that he would wuit electoral politics. However, the BJP in their three candidate list for the 224 constituency assembly poll denied a ticket to Eshwarappa’s son.

Eshwarappa had conveyed to the party’s high command to not consider fielding him in the assembly polls from Shivamogga, but sought a ticket for his son KE Kantesh instead. After this was denied, speculations of a tiff between the former minister and the BJP arose.

Karnataka is set to go into elections on 10 May. The vote counting and result declaration will be done on 13 May. The high stakes state assembly election between BJP and Congress ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha election can probably indicate what the national general elections could hold for BJP’s future.

PM Modi calls Eshwarappa amid massive exodus

Prime Minister Modi’s call to Eshwarappa amid an exodus of at least ten legislators ahead of the crucial assembly elections, is also indicative of a rather worried saffron headquarters in Delhi.

According to reports, PM Modi thanked Eshwarappa, a five-time member of the legislative assembly from Shivamogga in central Karnataka, for accepting the party’s decision and praised his loyalty and commitment.

Assuring PM Modi that the party will gain victory in the crucial polls, Eshwarappa can be heard asking for Modi’s blessings. “It feels great that you called an ordinary worker like me,” he says.

‘Will being back to BJP miffed leaders’: Eshwarappa

The former chief minister KS Eshwarappa on Thursday vowed to bring miffed leaders back who left the Bharatiya Janata Party to join Congress.

“I am not angry with BJP… those who have left BJP have to be brought back. We’ve to bring them back to BJP who are angry with our party and joined Congress. Our candidate will win this seat. BJP will win over 140 seats in Karnataka,” Eshwarappa told news agency ANI.

Eshwarappa stepped down as Karnataka’s Rural Development and Panchayati Raj minister in April 2022. This was the fallout of a contractor, Santosh Patil, ending his own life after accusing Eshwarappa of collecting a 40 per cent commission on public works in Belagavi.

A probe later gave Eshwarappa a clean chit.

‘BJP endorses corruption’: Cong post Modi-Eshwarappa call

The Congress Friday accused the BJP of endorsing corruption after Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached out to ex-Karnataka minister K S Eshwarappa who was denied a party ticket in the upcoming state assembly polls.

The Opposition party said that Prime Minister Modi congratulating Eshwarappa for not rebelling despite not being given a poll ticket “is unacceptable”.

Reacting to the development, the Congress tweeted, “PM Modi congratulating BJP leader Eshwarappa for not rebelling despite being denied a BJP ticket is unacceptable! This man is accused of demanding a 40% commission and was forced to resign over corruption charges after a BJP worker, Santosh Patil, committed suicide. By praising such corrupt leaders, the BJP is sending a clear message that it endorses corruption and illegal activities.”

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