Bengaluru, March 9 (SocialNews.XYZ) The ambition of the ruling BJP party in Karnataka to strengthen roots in southern regions of the state to return to power has hit a roadblock with prominent sitting ministers from the region all set to change of guard, sources have said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah are making special efforts to garner support for the BJP in these regions considered as bastions of JD(S) and Congress parties so far.
Senior Lingayat leader, Minister for Housing V. Somanna, who represents Govindaraj Nagar constituency in Bengaluru and Minister for Sports and Youth Services Dr. K.C. Narayana Gowda from the K.R. Pet constituencies of Mandya district are miffed with the developments in the BJP and are all set to join Congress party, according to sources.
Somanna skipped the Vijay Sankalp Yatra in Chamarajanagar attended by BJP national President J.P. Nadda on March 1. He is not participating actively in party meetings over a week, say sources in the BJP.
Insiders said that Somanna has got an attractive offer from the Congress party. They said that though former Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa brought Somanna, also a prominent Lingayat leader to the BJP, now they have developed differences. Yediyuppa's supporters are interfering with the affairs in Chamarajanagar, where Somanna is district-in-charge minister.
Somanna has not got any concrete assurance from the BJP regarding his position in the party. The development has taken place despite the recent visit of Union Home Minister Amit Shah to his residence.
On the other hand, the only BJP legislator from Mandya district Dr. M.C. Narayana Gowda, whose victory was celebrated as the BJP's entry into the Vokkaliga heartland and JD(S) power center is also not keen on participating in the Vijay Sankalp Yatra.
Sources close to him said that he is all set to announce his joining of Congress party after Prime Minister Modi's visit to Mandya district to dedicate the Bengaluru-Mysuru Expressway on March 12.
The local Congress leaders have opposed his entry into the Congress party and already staged a protest. Congress sources said that state President D.K. Shivakumar has reined in the situation and stage is all set for Narayana Gowda to join the Congress.
The reason for Narayana Gowda to join the Congress is winnability according to sources close to him. When he joined BJP, former CM Yediyurappa was the CM and his son B.Y. Vijayendra was the in-charge for elections. Vijayendra and Minister for Higher Education Dr. C.N. Ashwath Narayan worked hard for him to get elected.
But, in the present scenario, Narayana Gowda will have to win the elections in his own capacity, which is very difficult in a constituency where the BJP won for the first time, sources said.
On the other hand, the Congress party sources said that the screening committee has finalised the names of 120 candidates. The list of three to four candidates is shortlisted for 104 constituencies. The party leaders will finalise 75 candidates on Thursday. Sources say that 30 seats have been reserved for candidates from other parties, especially from the BJP to contest the upcoming elections and this has upset the saffron party.
Yediyurappa has stated that he would talk to Ministers Somanna and Narayana Gowda and no one will quit the party. He also stated further that the party would send those who want to quit the party respectfully and welcome leaders who want to join the BJP.
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