After giving a long rope, BJP serves notice on Yatnal

I have never apologised, expressed regret or retracted my statements, says the MLA

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that gave a long rope to dissenter MLA Basanagouda Patil Yatnal, who has been openly critical of Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa and consistently broached the issue of leadership change, has finally cracked the whip and served him a show-cause notice.

However, Mr. Yatnal, who has been suspended from the BJP twice earlier over similar charges to only later be re-inducted, has remained defiant.

“I have not indulged in any anti-party activity. Yes, I have criticised people in my own party, saddened that the government in the State was moving away from the ideals and standards set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. I have never apologised, expressed regret or retracted my statements,” he said.

He repeated certain charges he had made against the Chief Minister, including that of inducting “blackmailers” into the Cabinet. He also reiterated that he only said a person from north Karnataka should become the Chief Minister and he would stick by it. “Na dainyam, na palayanam… satyameva jayate,” he said.

Though several BJP leaders, including party State president Nalin Kumar Kateel, had said the national leadership was taking note and would act suitably against Mr. Yatnal, lack of any visible action or censure from the party had often triggered speculation that he had the backing of a section of the high command rooting for leadership change in the State.

Report from State unit

Arun Singh, general secretary in charge of party affairs in the State, who sought a report from the State unit on Mr. Yatnal at the recent Shivamogga State Executive meeting, played a key role in the disciplinary committee initiating action, party sources said.

Post the submission of report from the State unit, Mr. Yatnal has actively involved himself in the Panchamasali agitation against the government seeking reservation under category 2-A of the OBC list and countered the Chief Minister in the Assembly, embarrassing both the party and the government. A report on the same was again sent to the high command, sources said.

While the Chief Minister’s camp has claimed the recent Cabinet expansion and the show-cause notice to Mr. Yatnal were signs of the high command backing Mr. Yediyurappa, they are still cautious. “We are adopting a wait-and-watch approach, hoping the party takes it to the logical conclusion and takes action against Mr. Yatnal, especially since he has remained defiant even after being served the notice,” a senior leader close to the Chief Minister said.

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