BJP central leaders to pick Karnataka party unit chief

Last Updated: Sat, Mar 09, 2013 15:50 hrs

Bangalore, March 9 (IANS) The BJP central leaders will pick a new head for the party's Karnataka unit within a week as no consensus emerged at Saturday's discussions here to find a successor to K.S. Eshwarappa who quit the post Thursday, party sources said.

Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Arun Jaitley flew back to New Delhi Saturday evening to brief party president Rajnath Singh on the discussions he had with Karnataka unit leaders on the issue.

Jaitley, leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha, had one-on-one talks with Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, Eshwarappa, former party chief and former chief minister D. V. Sadananda Gowda and a few other leaders before all of them met in a group to finalise the name.

However no unanimity emerged as there were several claimants and factors like caste, region and acceptability - both to RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) and party cadres - had to be reconciled, particularly because assembly elections are due in the state in May, the sources told IANS.

Hence the Karnataka unit has left it to party central leadership to announce the new head based on Jaitley's assessment of the situation in the only state the party is in power in southern India, the sources said.

They said the leaders being considered for post include Sadananda Gowda, Deputy Chief Minister R. Ashoka, Minor Irrigation Minister Govind Karjol and Lok Sabha members Pralhad Joshi and Nalin Kumar Kateel.

Jaitley was assisted in Saturday's exercise by BJP general secretary and Karnataka party affairs in-charge Dharmendra Pradhan. The two arrived here late Friday.

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