Bengaluru: As the days of BS Yediyurappa were numbered as the Karnataka BJP president, a prominent name that was making the rounds for the post was that of Mahadevapura BJP MLA Arvind Limbavali.

But the BJP top brass sprang a surprise as it handed over the baton to Nalin Kumar Kateel, the Dakshina Kannada MP.

So what made the top brass vote in his favour?

Shivanand Patil, a political analyst said, “Both Arvind Limbavali and Nalin Kumar Kateel come from the RSS. Limbavali was an worker and then he worked as an ABVP activist. But unlike Limbavali, Kateel still has contacts at the grassroots levels. He built the party in the coastal regions with the help of leaders like Anant Kumar Hegde. He is a staunch RSS man. Even during issues like Tipu Jayanti, he has upheld the RSS interests. That has made all the difference.”

Kateel has always been known for his incendiary remarks. This has only worked in his favour.

“Despite allegations against him that he spoke against Mahatma Gandhi and in favour of Nathuram Godse, despite allegations of non-performance, he has seen the party grow for a long time. His anti-Muslim stance has also helped him out,” added the political analyst.

But the moment Kateel was made the party in-charge, the rebels have raised their heads. Basanagouda Patil, the party MLA from Bijapur openly asked Kateel not to cocoon himself in Mangaluru, but to hobnob with party workers across the state.

“It’s a difficult task for him. He is not known in north Karnataka. Apart from Mangaluru and coastal regions, he is not popular. However, RSS will help him out in improving his hold in the state,” the analyst added. 

For Limbavali, the slur of sexual intimacy may have cost him hard. A video of his private moments was leaked on several platforms. Though he sought a probe on the floor of the Assembly, the Speaker did not honour it.