In a blow to BJP, about 25 office-bearers of the district unit today resigned from the primary membership, giving vent to their unhappiness over the "stranglehold" of party MP B Sreeramulu on the local unit. The office-bearers alleged at a press conference that the state leadership had not paid attention to their grievance and repeated complaints that Sreeramulu was encouraging his own group.
State leaders including former Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar and former minister R Ashok reportedly tried to persuade the office-bearers not to resign but their efforts were in vain. Those who quit include district unit General Secretary Satish Chakravarthy, district SC/ST chief Mallaiah and district OBC Morcha General Secretary Pampanna Gowda. They submitted their resignations to district unit chief Nemraj Nayak. Bellary is one of the three constituencies, apart from Shikaripura and Chikkodi-Sadalga, going to by-polls on August 21.