Saturday, 17 December 2011

BJP dips into RSS pool for ‘flawless’ leaders

From Bangalore Mirror
Niranjan Kaggere

Resisting the temptation to stay in power through ‘Operation Lotus’, the saffron party has begun to cleanse itself by turning to its ideological roots. According to sources in the party, the change is the outcome of the humiliating defeat in the recent by-poll to the Bellary Rural Assembly seat.

The party has been avoiding turncoats while assigning responsibilities and handpicking leaders with a strong Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) background. 

Overlooking several heavyweights, the party chose law minister Suresh Kumar to shoulder the responsibility of leading the ruling party on the floor of the Assembly. In the Council, the role will be donned by education minister Visveswara Hegde Kageri, yet another staunch RSS man.

Prominent RSS leader from north Karnataka and cooperation minister Lakshman Savadi has been made chief whip in the Assembly after the post was vacated by Jeevaraj, a close confidant of former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa.

An office-bearer of the state BJP said, “The Bellary by-poll result was a warning to the party to focus on its network. Instead of building a support base
in Bellary district, the party relied entirely on the Reddy brothers and Sriramulu. While we trusted them completely, we were back-stabbed. The humiliating defeat of the party’s candidate despite the backing of top leaders was the result of poor networking capabilities. The Reddy brothers and Sriramulu turned out to be opportunists. Had we selected a grassroots BJP worker to build the party, we would have had a base in the district.”

However, there are fears that the move would result in further divisions within the party. 

One leader tried to dispel the fears, saying, “The party is not keen on one community. It is just focusing on leaders who have been in the party since
its formative days. They want somebody with enough understanding of the BJP’s ideologies who does not ditch or embarrass the party. In this case, the leaders in the Assembly and Council are from the Brahmin community, Savadi is a Lingayat. A few leaders from the Vokkaliga community and OBCs will also be soon given the responsibility of building the party base.”

Even though the Assembly polls are more than a year away, the ruling party does not want to take a chance by relying completely on turncoats who may switch over to rival parties at the time of the hustings.
By handpicking true BJP leaders who have come up through the RSS, the party hopes to restore its reputation of a disciplined unit.


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