Bengaluru: BJP is facing yet another controversy ahead of BBMP elections. This time it is between former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa and BBMP election in-charge and former deputy chief minister R Ashok.
Rudresh, one of BBMP ticket aspirant told the media that Ashok allegedly ridiculed the lingayats and made derogatory comments against Yedyurappa who is also an undisputed leader of lingayats.
Speaking to the reporters Rudresh said, “I went to R Ashok seeking a BBMP ticket. The moment I entered his room, he made some derogatory comments on the Lingayats. When I told him that Yeddyurappa sent me to him, he got angry. He told me that Yeddyurappa had no market in Karnataka, they have already sent him to Tirupati and ticket won’t be given to Lingayats”.
Rudresh also said that Ashok told him lingayats will be forced to vote for BJP as they do not have any other option. Rudresh also claimed that Ashok insulted PM Narendra Modi saying that he won’t give ticket to him even if Modi makes the request.
An old associate of Yeddyurappa, Rudresh contested against former chief minister HD Kumaraswamy in Ramanagara assembly seat in the last election. He was also the chairman of state-owned Chamundeshwari Studios in Yeddyurappa government.
Ashok is a Vokkaliga leader of the BJP from Bengaluru city has not given any statement in regards to the allegations. He won his first election in 1998. He was a Cabinet minister in the BJP government from 2008-2013. For a brief period, he was also a deputy chief minister. He is considered close to Union minister Ananth Kumar.
Powerful Lingayat leaders of the BJP held an emergency meeting in Bengaluru on Monday night after Rudesh allegations against Ashok came out. The meeting went on till late night.
Lingayats are over 20% of Karnataka’s population and they have greater influence over state’s socio, political and economic life of the state. Yeddyurappa who singlehandedly built and brought the BJP to power in Karnataka quit that party in late 2012 to form his own Karnataka Janata Party (KJP). Ahead of Lok Sabha elections in 2014, he returned to the BJP. He won Lok Sabha election from Shimoga and was made a national vice president of the BJP.