Basanagouda Patil Yatnal in Delhi

Dissident BJP legislator Basanagouda Patil Yatnal was in Delhi on Monday. While a section of party leaders claimed that he had been summoned by the party high command, a few others said he was there on his volition to meet central leaders.

This came a day after his strident speech at a Panchamasali community rally in Bengaluru on Sunday, where he not only criticised the Chief Minister but also said no notice could shut him up.

The party’s central disciplinary committee had recently served Mr. Yatnal a show-cause notice over his strident criticism and series of allegations against Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa. However, Mr. Yatnal, in his reply, made several allegations, including that of the Chief Minister’s son B.Y. Vijayendra funding the Opposition Congress and Rashtriya Janata Dal during the recently concluded Bihar Assembly polls. He said this to the media as well, again drawing ire.

In his speech at the Panchamasali rally on Sunday, he called upon legislators and Ministers from the community to be ready to resign if the community’s reservation demands were not met.

The party high command had sought a report on Mr. Yatnal’s statements after the issuance of show-cause notice. The State unit sent this report on Sunday night. “It is believed that Yatnal has the backing of a prominent faction within the party that is trying to unseat the Chief Minister. How the high command will handle Mr. Yatnal will also betray their choice for leadership for now,” a senior BJP leader said.

However, another party strategist said Mr. Yatnal has been careful to couch his criticism of the Chief Minister in the language of Hindutva and praise for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, making it hard for the party high command to act against him.

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