Bengaluru, Jun 09, 2020: For long, there has been speculation that the BJP high command does not always see eye-to-eye with its first Chief Minister in south India - BS Yediyurappa. Karnataka’s most prominent BJP leader is currently in his third stint as state chief m.inister, but in what is being considered a snub - the party candidates suggested by the state unit for the upcoming Rajya Sabha polls were rejected in favour of choices made by Delhi.
The state unit had suggested the names including Prabhahar Kore, Ramesh Katti and Prakash Shetty.
The final two nominees from the BJP are, however, the relatively unknown Eranna Kadadi and Ashok Gasti.
Mr Yediyurappa told journalists that he was pleased with the decision. He said, "The BJP central leadership, by giving the seat to ordinary party workers, has given a gift. I thank them. I have faith the candidates will do good work in the Rajya Sabha. Perhaps the BJP is the only party which would take such a decision of giving this charge to ordinary members."
"We had sent names to a core committee meeting. Finally, they came to me and said they wanted to give a chance to ordinary party workers. After discussing some more, we decided to give a chance to these two people. I wish them well," he added.
Prabhahar Kore, an enormously wealthy man with many educational institutions, also said he was not upset at the change. He said, "Today the BJP has selected ground-level workers who have worked for almost 30 years. They have been given Rajya Sabha seats. I am very happy. I have been with a BJP for 16 years. They have given me Rajya Sabha tickets twice. It is a very good development. I welcome them. Still I will work very hard."
Karnataka BJP president Nalin Kumar Kateel said, "We have fielded two workers from our party. We are a different kind of party. When we got the chance, we decided to give an opportunity to two workers. The state core committee under my leadership. We sent names of workers to the centre."
The two BJP candidates for the upper house - in the limelight after relative obscurity - are grateful for the practically assured entry into the Rajya Sabha.
Erana Kadadi told NDTV, "I am very happy. I thank the state and national leaders. I have been working for three decades even though I may be new to you."
Ashok Gasti said, "This is a very happy event. A booth-level worker has been recognised like this. This kind of recognition is possible only in the BJP. This has given a lot of enthusiasm to lakhs of BJP workers. I want to thank all the BJP leaders."