's national leadership sprang a surprise on Monday by fielding grassroots workers - Eranna Kadadi and Ashok Gasti - for the June 19 Rajya Sabha election from
, ignoring the recommendations of the state unit.
Party s ources said Kadadi and Gasti are district-level party members with an RSS background. They have both served the party for more than 30 years in various capacities.
The state unit had proposed the names of sitting RS member and educationist Prabhakar Kore, former
MP Ramesh Katti and hotelier and senior party functionary Prakash Shetty.
Kadadi and Gasti are expected to get a smooth passage to RS, alongside former PM and JD(S) supremo HD Deve Gowda and Congress veteran
"This is for the first time that someone (Gasti) from Savitha Samaj is getting into Parliament. I am grateful for this selection," said senior BJP member and rural development minister KS Eshwarappa.
The selection is believed to have left state BJP members, including CM BS Yediyurappa, flummoxed. "It is as surprising a decision as the elevation of a defeated MLA Laxman Savadi as deputy chief minister," said a senior minister.
BJP insiders said it is a well thought-out decision aimed at boosting the morale of grassroots party workers, and sending a message to all established members in BJP not to take their position for granted. S tate functionaries also perceived the move as an effort by the leadership to pare the influence of the Kattis, Kores and Jarkiholis in the politically-strategic Belagavi district.
Party karyakartas welcomed the decision and praised the Modi-Shah-Nadda trio online for recognising grassroots workers. Several tweets congratulated the leadership for not being bogged down by influence and lobbying.