Not scared of expulsion from BJP, says ex Deputy CM Eshwarappa

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K S Eshwarappa Karnataka BJP

Former Deputy Chief Minister K S Eshwarappa (File image)

Shivamogga: Former Deputy Chief Minister K S Eshwarappa on Tuesday said he is not scared of expulsion from the BJP as he reiterated his resolve to contest the Lok Sabha elections as an independent with full vigour.

He said his expulsion was on the expected lines.

BJP on Monday expelled Eshwarappa for six years for violating party discipline, and contesting Lok Sabha polls as an independent candidate.

"Ignoring the party's directions, you are contesting as a rebel candidate from Shimoga Lok Sabha constituency, causing embarrassment to the party. This is violation of party discipline," state disciplinary committee president Lingaraj Patil said in the expulsion order.

It said, "so, you have been relieved from all the responsibilities and have been expelled from the party for six years, with immediate effect." Eshwarappa has remained steadfast on his decision to contest, spurning efforts by party leaders to pacify him.

The paty's decision to expel the former Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council, came on the last day for withdrawal of candidature for the second phase of Lok Sabha polls in Karnataka on May seven.

Eshwarappa along with Yediyurappa and late H N Ananth Kumar is widely credited with building the BJP from the grassroots in Karnataka.

Ahead of the Assembly polls last year, opting out of the contest, he had asked the party's central leadership that he wished to retire from electoral politics and requested it to not consider fielding him from any constituency.

Modi had then dialled Eshwarappa and spoke to him over a video call and expressed appreciation for his move to retire from poll politics, as per the instructions from the party.

"I have not received any communication from the party regarding my expulsion. The fact is that I was wondering why I was not expelled yet," Eshwarappa told reporters here on Tuesday, in an apparent sarcastic note.

He said, "I will not be scared of expulsion. My contesting is clear, winning from Shivamogga (Shimoga Lok Sabha seat) is clear and strengthing (the hands of) Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also clear," the 75-year-old said.

He added that he has been allotted election symbol of "farmer with sugarcane", which indicates blessings for him from the farmers of his constituency.

Eshwarappa was eyeing a ticket for his son K E Kantesh from neighbouring Haveri constituency.

After the denial of ticket, Eshwarappa rebelled against former Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa and BJP's Parliamentary Board member accusing him of scuttling his son's political prospects.

Targeting Yediyurppa and his two sons -- B Y Raghavendra who is contesting the election on BJP ticket from Shivamogga and B Y Vijayendra, BJP state president and Shikaripura MLA, Eshwarappa said BJP has turned into a 'Father-Son' party in Karnataka with nepotism galore.