Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Thursday took a dig at the BJP, claiming that the party has caught fire from within, with discontent simmering, after the appointment of B Y Vijayendra as its state unit president and R Ashoka as the Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly. The chief minister also clarified that he is not in touch with disgruntled BJP leaders and has not invited any of them to join the Congress.
"After Vijayendra was made the state president and Ashoka was made the Leader of the Opposition, the BJP has caught fire from within. Many are disgruntled. One cannot say what will happen -- whether it will become a flame or will it burn the party from the bottom -- I don't know, but it has caught fire," Siddaramaiah told reporters in response to a question about discontentment brewing within the state BJP.
On whether disgruntled BJP leaders were knocking on Congress' doors, he said, "We will not invite anyone to join the party. If they come forward on their own to join the party, accepting our leadership and ideology, we will induct them." Asked if any of them had contacted him to join the party, the chief minister said neither he has contacted anyone, nor anyone has contacted him.
"In my political life, I haven't invited anyone to join the party. One has to be committed to the ideology. If someone was in the BJP, they would have accepted BJP's ideology. They will have to leave that and accept our (Congress) ideology," he added.
Several senior BJP leaders like -- Basangouda Patil Yatnal and Ramesh Jarkiholi (both sitting MLAs), also V Somanna and Arvind Limbavali (both former ministers) -- are reportedly upset with the twin appointments.
Yatnal had recently made his displeasure over the elevation of veteran leader and former chief minister B S Yediyurappa’s son Vijayendra as state president, known, as he struck a discordant note saying that the party workers and the Hindu activists would not accept it if BJP becomes a party of one family.
Yatnal, along with Ramesh Jarkiholi, had walked out of the BJP legislature party meeting last week, even before it commenced to elect senior MLA Ashoka, as its new leader, who would also be the leader of the opposition in the Legislative Assembly.
Yatnal, ahead of the meeting, had demanded that the leader of the opposition in the assembly should be from North Karnataka.
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