BELAGAVI: A surprise pick of candidates by BJP on the recommendations made by the RSS in Chikkodi and Raichur — denying tickets to candidates supported by state party chief BS Yeddyurappa - has not only upset a large section of BJP leadership in the state but it could even boomerang for the party in the upcoming Lok Sabha election. However, the party chose to field sitting MP Sanganna Karadi from Koppal who was reportedly opposed by a section of RSS leaders, who had favoured a local leader - Dr Basavaraj.
Sources said the BJP is expected to suffer a massive rebellion from insiders in Chikkodi and Raichur given the way the party high command ignored popular leaders while favouring the RSS’ choices. A shocked Katti brothers are unwilling to accept the party’s decision of fielding Annasaheb Jolle from Chikkodi and said that they will wait for the party to reconsider its move.
“We (Katti brothers) have appealed to the BJP high command through Yeddyurappa to reconsider the decision. As we have worked for the party and its victory in Chikkodi region for the last several years, we strongly believed till today that Ramesh Katti (former Chikkodi MP) will be the candidate,’’ Umesh Katti, brother of Ramesh and eight-time Hukkeri MLA said.Umesh said the brothers will wait until April 4 for the party to reconsider its decision and decide their future course of action.
Hitting back indirectly at BJP for denying ticket to Ramesh, Umesh said money had played a big role in denying ticket to his brother. He did not clarify as to who paid the money to whom and said, “We never did politics by squandering money for tickets or elections but always faced elections fairly,’’ he said.
The Kattis question party’s logic behind denying ticket to Ramesh as the latter was a popular leader in Chikkodi despite losing to Prakash Hukkeri (Congress) in the last election by 3,000 votes. Also, Ramesh is closely associated with most of local bodies in the constituencies with strong links to people at the grarssroots for his active role in the cooperative movement, which is powerful in Chikkodi than any other region.
The Katti family, which commands a huge political clout in Chikkodi region, could cause damage to the party’s prospects for denying ticket to a family member. A close association between the families of sitting MP Prakash Hukkeri (Congress) and Kattis could swing a large number of Katti traditional votes in Prakash Hukkeri’s favour.
According to Ramesh Katti, Jolle had the support of RSS leaders while all other party leaders supported him when it came to allotment of the ticket. He is shocked that Jolle who was far behind in terms of gaining points in the party’s recent surveys for ticket was supported for the ticket.
RSS attempt clicks in Raichur
Raja Amaresh Nayak, who was supported by RSS, managed to get BJP ticket from Raichur. Efforts of Tipparaju Hawaldar and Ananth Raju Nayak, however, went in vain despite their lobbying through some of the noted local BJP leaders. The party had to delay allotment of ticket in Raichur as it was caught in a dilemma owing to the interference of RSS leadership, sources said adding that the survey of RSS found Amaresh as the fit contender to take on the sitting MP.
Sanganna Karadi again from Koppal
The RSS team failed to deny ticket to sitting Koppal BJP MP Sanganna Karadi who managed to squeeze through at the last moment to grab the party ticket. According to sources, a large section of BJP leadership besides RSS teams also had supported Dr Basavaraj over Karadi for Koppal seat and the party was under intense pressure to take a final call.