No controversial statements please: BJP to Karnataka leaders after Yatnal's comment on Doreswamy
Feb. 26, 2020

In just one-and-a-half months, at least five senior state BJP leaders have made statements that have caused embarrassment to the party.

The latest neta to join the list is former Union minister and Vijayapura MLA Basangouda Patil Yatnal, who on Tuesday called senior freedom fighter HS Doreswamy ‘fake’ and a ‘Pakistani agent’.

Slamming his statements, Congress demanded Yatnal’s resignation and an apology.

Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah tweeted that CM BS Yediyurappa should take action against Yatnal for speaking derisively against a senior freedom fighter.

Siddaramaiah said, “If action is not taken, we will consider his (Yatnal) opinion as yours (CM). Control your leaders.” Yatnal’s party colleagues too tried to distance themselves from the statement. Senior BJP leader and Bengaluru Central MP P C Mohan said that he is unaware as to why Yatnal would make such a statement.

“Doreswamy is a senior freedom fighter. One should not say anything negative against him,’’ he said.

Another senior BJP leader, on condition of anonymity, told TNIE it is unfortunate that party leaders are making statements that not just embarrass the BJP, but also the people of the state.

“Many of our leaders are already fighting for portfolios and trying to contain rebels within the party. These statements only add to the chaos. Leaders who make such statements need to know that what they say becomes news,” he said.

On steps being taken to avoid such situations, BJP spokesperson and general secretary Ravikumar said that at regular intervals, party leaders, including state president Nalin Kumar Kateel, are given instructions not to make unnecessary statements that shame the party, he said.

In fact, sometime back, the BJP high command had intervened and warned its leaders. Kateel, just months before becoming state party president, tweeted in favour of Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse. After the high command interfered, he deleted the tweet and apologised.

In another gaffe, Yatnal, after the floods in the state, had criticised the PM saying Narendra Modi showed concern only for Bihar flood victims and not for those affected here. A notice had been sent to him.