I am not aspiring for CM's post: K’taka BJP chief

Bangalore: Asserting that his main concern was to strengthen the ruling party, the new BJP Karnataka president K S Eshwarappa on Thursday said he is not aspiring for Chief Ministership.

"Let me make it clear that I am not at all aspiring for the post of Chief Minister. Strengthening the party is my main concern," he said at his maiden press meet after assuming charge last week.

Known for his aggressive style of functioning, Eshwarappa has had uneasy relationship with Yeddyurappa ahead of the Lok Sabha elections last year.

Coming out openly against dynastic politics, he had expressed reservations over Yeddyurappa's son B Y Raghavendra being nominated as the party candidate from Shimoga.

Eshwarappa said though the party's popularity is growing, it is yet to secure "complete majority" in the 224-member state assembly. "My target is to win not less than 155 seats in the next elections," he said.

He said there would be no room for "any confusion or misunderstanding within the party, which had led to Opposition Congress and JDS to capitalise on it and exploit the situation".

The Yeddyurappa government had faced severe crisis late last year when dissidents demanded a change in leadership, but it blew over after the party's central leadership intervened.

On Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa's remark that the hands of anti-social elements attacking places of worship should be chopped off, Eshwarappa said, "Though I do not agree with the language used, it is the sentiment that no such sacrilege will be tolerated that is important."

"Anybody who desecrates any religious institution in the state will be considered a betrayer of the nation, an anti-social element and will be dealt with accordingly," he said.

Yeddyurappa had made the remark after two cases of attacks on churches at Mysore and Bhatkal in Uttara Kannada district.