Senior leaders vying for BJP Chief Post in K’taka

Senior leaders in BJP’s Karnataka unit are vying for the post of the party president in the state as the term of current party chief Nalin Kumar Kateel ended on Sunday, a party source in the know of things said on Monday.

With the elevation of former Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa to the highest decision-making national bodies, the entire scenario has changed and party workers and opponents are watching the development in this regard closely.

Party sources said that Union Minister of State Shobha Karandlaje, BJP national General Secretary C.T. Ravi, Minister for Energy V. Sunil Kumar, former minister Arvind Limbavali are being considered front-runners for the position.

Kateel’s tenure had ended on Sunday. The party has no track record of continuing the term of president for long once their tenure is over.

BJP sources said Kateel belongs to national general secretary B.L. Santhosh’s camp and he would continue till the elections are over.

However, sources in the Yediyurappa camp rule out this possibility and maintain that the new president is likely to take over the party affairs.

Yediyuarappa has been nominated to the Parliamentary Board and Election Committee Boards recently, considered as the highest decision making bodies of BJP. It is an “open secret” that Kateel belongs to a camp which works against Yediyurappa.

The names of Union Minister for State Shobha Karandlaje and former minister Arvind Limbavali are being discussed as they represent Yediyurappa camp.

However, the central leadership is “seriously contemplating” to give power to the fire-brand Ravi, party sources said.

The decision will be taken keeping the upcoming assembly elections in mind.

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