Is it sheer obstinacy or a well-devised political strategy? Despite being warned against participating in the Sangolli Rayanna Brigade activities, BJP leader K S Eshwarappa on Monday said that he will take part in a meeting to be organised by the Brigade, in Raichur on May 16.

In a brief interaction with Asianet Newsable over phone, Eshwarappa, who is presently in Vijayapura, said that he would certainly attend the meeting. “So far, I haven’t been informed about the meeting schedule. Once I do (receive information), I will 100 per cent attend it - my participation is guaranteed,” he added.

The Brigade will be meeting to fix a date for the training camp, which was earlier scheduled to be held in Raichur on May 8. Eshwarappa, who had remained obstinate about organising the camp on the said date, however had to yield to the party diktat and “postpone” the event, after the Central leadership’s intervention.

The party high command had also ensured that Eshwarappa did not boycott the two day state executive meet held in Mysuru last week. After the meet, party general secretary Shobha Karandlaje had reiterated that the Brigade’s activities would not be tolerated.

Eshwarappa, however, seems to be on his own trip - in the literal sense of the word. While all party leaders are waiting for their party president B S Yeddyurappa to kickstart the 39-day tour to drought hit areas from May 18, Eshwarappa seems to have made a head start.

He told Asianet Newsable that he was holding departmental review meetings, and in the process was also assessing the relief works carried out in drought hit areas. On Monday, he held a review meeting with the Vijayapura deputy commissioner and other district officials.

On Tuesday, he will be in Raichur - where he is expected to hold a meeting with the Raichur district administration, and also attend the Brigade meeting. On Wednesday, he will be in Koppal. “I am holding these meetings in the capacity of the opposition leader of the Legislative Council,” he said.

Brigade president K Virupakshappa said that Tuesday’s meeting will be held under the leadership of Eshwarappa, and that as many as 40 office bearers would participate in it. Aside from fixing a date and venue for the training camp, the Brigade will also chalk out an action plan for felicitating around 10,000 PUC rank students.

“Who is Shobha Karandlaje to be stating that the Brigade activities have to be wound up? Our party national president Amit Shah himself has given a go ahead to the Brigade activities. Our’s is not a political party - we are just carrying out cultural and social activities,” said Virupakshappa.

High command to be 'apprised'

BJP spokesperson Suresh Kumar said that the latest development would be reported to the Central leaders. “Our party general secretary had announced that the Rayanna Brigade or any such activities should not be held or continued. Any development after this announcement, is being reported to the Centre,” he said.

He also said that if Eshwarappa participated in the Brigade meeting on Tuesday, it would certainly embarrass the party further.  Party’s state general secretary C T Ravi said that the Central leaders were observing all developments, and would take stock of the situation at an appropriate juncture.