Bengaluru: Post the sudden and surprising announcement from Central BJP unit of appointing BJP leader from Karnataka's coastal belt Nalin Kumar Kateel as the state’s party president, BJP spokesperson Vaman Acharya said that Nalin Kumar Kateel being BL Santosh's man was always the first choice to head the unit.

Speaking to MyNation, Acharya said, now that Santhosh is the one who keeps the Central leaders updated with the political development of Karnataka, he preferred Kateel as he aligns with party's ideology.

CT Ravi's name was proposed but he found a place in the BS Yeddyurappa Cabinet. Aravind Limbavali also wanted to become a minister. In this situation, where a man who is ideologically strong and can listen to people in the RSS circle was required, Kateel seemed the best fit. 

Acharya said, "Aravind's name was also floated but there was damage to his image on social media recently. Such a man becoming a minister is no worry but party president... (he stopped there)."

He further added that the party president post is like being the headquarters of the party, adding that the party does not make “political adjustments” like the Congress. "President and general secretary should have a moral commitment to work and be honest in his or her work all the way. This merits respectability in personal character, acumen for administration, and a good public image, I don't think Aravind Limbavali fits into all of those requirements at the moment, even though he is a good political leader."

Opposition criticises the move:

JDS spokesperson Tanveer Ahmed states that BJP is a “caste-centric party”, and therefore leaders like Limbavali, who hails from a Dalit background, cannot find a place.

"The damage to his image on social media has been present from 2017-18 and the opposition did not react to it. The issue is deliberately and tactically brought by his adversaries to keep him away from the position of deputy CM and party president. This is done within the ranks and files of BJP and RSS."