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Eshwarappa says Shah asked him to withdraw Lok Sabha candidature from Shivamogga. BJP rebel replies…


Senior BJP leader K S Eshwarappa refused to withdraw his candidature from the Lok Sabha constituency in Karnataka stating that Union Home Minister Amit Shah personally called asking him to withdraw his candidature.

BJP leader KS Eshwarappa meets Union Home Minister Amit Shah. (ANI Photo)

Eshwarappa’s decision to contest arose from his son being denied a ticket in the neighbouring Haveri constituency. He decided to run in Shivamogga against B S Yediyurappa’s son, B Y Raghavendra. Eshwarappa accused the former chief minister of reneging on a promise to give his son a ticket.

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Despite Shah’s request during his Karnataka campaign visit, Eshwarappa said he remained resolute in his decision to contest.

He said, speaking to reporters, “This morning ‘iron man’ Amit Shah had called me. He told me that you are such a senior leader and contesting the election, which is surprising. He asked me why I am contesting.”

The 75-year-old BJP leader added, “Amit Shah asked me not to contest the election and withdraw the nomination papers. He said all the demands will be addressed in the coming days. Three months back I had gone to Delhi and I had explained to him (the prevailing situation in the party) but there were no changes in the situation.”

He stated that Shah requested a meeting with him in Delhi on April 3. While Eshwarappa agreed to the meeting, he made it clear that he did not want to be pressured into withdrawing his decision, as it would create difficulties for him.

“He must have understood my sentiments behind contesting the election. I will win the election and it will help achieve all the objectives for which I am contesting the election, I spoke to my son who told me not to worry about his future and it will be enough if it helps the state BJP unit. I am going to meet Shah in Delhi tomorrow. I told him [Shah] that I am contesting because I am deeply hurt just as all the workers are in pain, who want ‘purification’ of the party.”

Eshwarappa also emphasised that the BJP unit in Karnataka should adhere to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s stance of ending dynastic politics.

“Narendra Modi has given a call to free a political party from a family but in the BJP Karnataka unit, the Congress culture is growing.” He also said that it was unjust how the saffron party in the state was under the grip of one family.

Referring to Yediyurappa and his sons — Raghavendra and BY Vijayendra, Eshwarappa said, “I am contesting this election to free the BJP from the control of ‘father and sons.’”

He expressed that the rising influence of Yediyurappa’s family caused distress to all those who supported his ascent within the party. “Also, those fighting for Hindutva, such as former minister C T Ravi, MP Pratap Simha, Uttara Kannada MP Anantkumar Hegde, Basanagouda Patil Yatnal or former Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda or even myself…there is a feeling in the party whether it is wrong to work for Hindutva.”



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