Karnataka BJP chief Nalin Kumar Kateel dismisses reports of his resignation
In a statement issued in Bengaluru, Kateel clarified that he has not resigned as the party state president.
During an interaction with reporters in Ballari, Kateel took the moral responsibility for his party’s defeat in the Assembly election last month.
The BJP lost power in the state as the Congress coasted to victory with 135 seats in the 224-member Assembly while the saffron party could only muster 66 seats.
Kateel, the Dakshina Kannada MP, said he has already explained to the party leaders about the reasons behind the rout.
“Regarding the appointment of new state president, the party will take the right decision at an appropriate time. However, I did not say anything on my resignation as the party state president. My statement has been misconstrued,” the BJP state president said.
The confusion started after Kateel said in Ballari that his term has already completed and the process for his replacement has started.
As former minister V Somanna expressed his wish to become the BJP state president, the MP said: “I don’t have any aspirations but my term has completed. In fact, my both terms have completed.”
“Naturally, the state president has to be replaced because one person can be a president for two years. This time it was for three years but I have served for four years – once as temporary president and then as a full-time president,” he added.
According to Kateel, he was asked to continue due to the Assembly election. “Already, the process of my replacement has started,” he told reporters.
With regard to Somanna’s wishes, the BJP state chief said the former minister is a senior leader who has made a request and has expressed his desire.
There is nothing wrong to have aspirations but the final decision will be taken by the BJP central leaders, he added.
Somanna who lost the Assembly election against Chief Minister Siddaramaiah in Varuna constituency and also from Chamarajanagar on Friday appealed to the party leadership to make him the state president of the BJP.
He said his sacrifices are more than anyone as he could have easily won the election from Govindaraj Nagar in Bengaluru but contested the tough elections from the constituencies he was not familiar with.
Given his sacrifice, the party should consider making him the BJP state chief. He also said he has 45 years of political experience and has faced many elections while being in the BJP for the past 15 years.