- 2 factions of BJP at war with each other ahead of polls next year
- Amit Shah sacks 2 office-bearers from each camp
- Comes days after the party lost the crucial by-election in the state
Each had asked Mr Shah to penalise the other. Now Mr Shah, who is in Jammu and Kashmir as part of a two-week tour, has sacked two office-bearers from each faction after a discussion with its Karnataka in-charge Muralidhar Rao.
"The party has well established methods to resolve issues internally. Talking on street and outside is not healthy for a political party. Internal democracy should be respected," Mr Rao said.
The fissures in the Karnataka BJP have been bothering the central leadership, which is hoping to displace the Congress in the Assembly polls early next year. Karnataka is the only southern state where the BJP had held power. But its rule from 2008 to 2013 saw three chief ministers, factional wars and corruption charges that led to the return of Congress to power.
This time, the conflict had started with Mr Yeddyurappa allegedly favouring his loyalists and overlooking long-term party workers, including Mr Eshwarappa - for important party positions. It escalated after April 27, when Mr Eshwarappa held a convention against Mr Yeddyurappa's warnings.
Since December, Mr Eshwarappa, a leader of the Kuruba backward caste, had been holding conclaves of what he describes as an apolitical forum to unite Dalits and backward classes. The politically crucial coalition had ruffled the feathers of Mr Yeddyurappa, a Lingayat leader. The two communities are vying for power within the party.
Mr Easwarappa objected to what he called what he called Mr Yedyurappa's "dictatorial approach". At a meeting held in Bengaluru, he had said, "When Amit Shah declared Yeddyurappa as the party president and the next Chief Minister, we were happy, but if you (Yeddyurappa) act as you want, we can't sit quietly".
Today, state BJP General Secretary N Ravi Kumar said the party relieved vice presidents Bhanuprakash and Nirmal Kumar Surana, Vice President of Raitha Morcha MP Renukacharya and spokesperson G Madhusudhan from all responsibilities "with immediate effect".
But the peace-making efforts are likely to continue, with Muralidhar Rao at its helm.