Bengaluru, Jan 12: Senior BJP leader K S Eshwarappa on Wednesday said the suspension of former mayor D Venkatesh Murthy from the party has made him acquire the status of a state leader and, the state party president B S Yeddyurappa needs to be thanked for the same.
“I congratulate Yeddyurappa for suspending Murthy from the party. Till now Murthy was a leader in Bengaluru. By spending 50 paise to issue the suspension order, Murthy has been made state level leader,” Eshwarappa said sarcastically, while addressing a meeting of Sangolli Rayanna Brigade in Padmanabha Nagar here.
Murthy received the suspension order on Tuesday on the grounds that the BJP has received complaints that he was involved in anti-party activities. The suspension came just a day before the Brigade members assembled to hold a preparatory meeting for the convention to be held on January 26 in Kudalasangama in Bagalkot district.
It is said that Padmanabhanagar MLA R Ashoka brought pressure on the leaders to suspend Murthy from the party due to political rivalry.
In a veiled attack on the party and Yeddyurappa, Eshwarappa said, “We say that the BJP is a disciplined party. But now discipline has vanished. The party’s disciplinary committee should have handled suspension of Murthy. Instead, the suspension has been effected through Bengaluru city district president. Earlier, the party had issued notices to former minister Sogadu Shivanna and Nandeesh of Tumakuru. But so far no action has been initiated.”
“None of the Brigade members should be disheartened if the BJP suspends them. Because, all of them will get good positions in the party. The Congress may be hoping that I and Yeddyurappa will fight. But I am sure our party leaders will hold talks with us and find a solution.” Sending a clear message to his party that he would not withdraw from the Brigade, Eshwarappa said the Kudalasangama event would be attended by not less than two lakh people.
Later, speaking to journalists, Eshwarappa said Brigade leaders K Virupakshappa and Mukudappa would meet Yeddyurappa to seek the withdrawal of Murthy’s suspension.
Murthy said, “When the Padmanabha Nagar MLA (Ashoka) was not even an elected representative, I was a BJP corporator. I had helped him to become MLA. But now he is distributing pamphlets asking people not to attend the Brigade’s programmes. But, none can stop the growth of the Brigade.”
Speakers at the gathering said that it would be better to project Eshwarappa as chief minister, going by the manner in which he is being treated by the BJP.