C.M. Udasi, Arvind Limbavali dropped from the all-crucial BJP panel
The all-crucial core committee of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) State unit was reconstituted on Thursday by dropping two prominent leaders and inducting four new leaders. Induction of some leaders has raised eyebrows.
Senior BJP leaders C.M. Udasi and Arvind Limbavali were dropped from the core committee and Deputy Chief Ministers C.N. Ashwath Narayan and Laxman Savadi, senior Minister B. Sriramulu, and one of the 10 vice-presidents of the party Nirmal Kumar Surana were inducted.
While the induction of the two Deputy Chief Ministers is seen as a natural progression, it is the induction of Mr. Sriramulu and particularly low-profile leader Mr. Surana that has raised eyebrows in the party. “The induction of Mr. Surana is a clear assertion of the dominance of national general secretary (Organisation) B.L. Santhosh,” a close aide of Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa said, even as a senior party functionary concurred with the reading.
Nirmal Kumar Surana
A former MLA, Mr. Surana had identified with the anti-Yediyurappa camp and was sacked by the party as vice-president to quell factionalism in 2017 over Sangolli Rayanna Brigade fiasco. One of the first decisions Nalin Kumar Kateel took as State president was to reinstate him in 2019. Mr. Surana presently holds the charge of party affairs in poll-bound Puducherry, where he is credited with successfully toppling the Congress government. “Mr. Surana has proved his mettle in Puducherry and his induction is a recognition of that,” said one of his close associates.
Mr. Sriramulu, a senior Scheduled Tribes leader, was tipped to become Deputy Chief Minister during the 2018 Assembly polls campaign, but was denied that post after the BJP came to power. He was recently stripped of the Health and Family Welfare portfolio amid the pandemic, which had not gone down well with him and his induction into the core committee is seen as a recognition of his political importance. Moreover, he presently holds the charge of Social Welfare at a time when there are rising demands for reconstituting the reservation matrix, a tricky political question.
Meanwhile, the rest of the core committee — Mr. Kateel, Mr. Yediyurappa, Union Ministers D.V. Sadananda Gowda and Pralhad Joshi, the former Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, former Deputy Chief Ministers K.S. Eshwarappa and R. Ashok, Deputy Chief Minister Govind Karjol, and State general secretary (Organisation) B.P. Arun Kumar — has remained unchanged. Arun Singh and D.K Aruna, in-charge and co-in-charge of the party affairs in the State, respectively, and C.T. Ravi, national general secretary hailing from the State, have been made special invitees.