RAICHUR: At the protest site where both Congress and JD(S) workers were present yesterday, while B S Yeddyurappa took oath as Chief Minister, Maski assembly constituency MLA Pratap Gowda Patil was believed to be missing.
There is no news yet of Patil and he has turned incommunicado. The New Indian Express tried to contact him through various channels, but Patil’s and his associates' phones were switched off.
It must be noted that Patil who won this elections with a slight margin of 213 had become an MLA for the first time on a BJP ticket, in 2008. However, he switched loyalty in 2103 and contested on a Congress ticket and retained his seat. This time, there was tough fight between Patil and BJP’ Basanagouda Turvihal.
Patil was a close acquaintance of former minister Basavaraj Patil Anwari, who had moved from Congress to BJP in 2008. In the same year, Patil was given the BJP ticket due to contest thanks to Anwari’s political clout. Anwari back then was a strong Lingayat leader from Raichur and had a good relationship with Chief Minister (CM) B S Yeddyurappa.
When there was infighting in BJP between CM Yeddyurappa and Ananth Kumar, Patil chose Yeddyurappa's camp and developed a good rapport with the Reddy brothers, and their associate Sriramulu.
When Yeddyurappa formed the KJP party, Patil chose not to go with the KJP because he had an offer from the Congress. He then contested on a Congress ticket and won, and became a good friend to the then Sindhanur MLA Hampanagouda Badarli, who lost elections to JD(S) this time.
According to sources, Pratap Gowda Patil had wanted to contest as a BJP candidate this time, sensing that the party may come to power with a simple majority. A source said, “Initially, Patil had felt that it would become easy for him to win if he contested from the BJP. But he suspected that a few villages, from Sindhanur taluk, also comes under Manvi and Congress leader Hampanagouda Badarli may work against him if joined BJP.”
It Maski, there was a BJP wave and the party gave Congress a tough fight. At present, Patil is not reachable and the Congress is citing health reasons for this. Moreover, he is known to be comfortable with Yeddyurappa, who is now the chief minister.