For Umesh Jadhav, the Congress MLA from Chincholi who submitted his resignation and joined the BJP at a recent public rally addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Kalaburagi, the road ahead appears not to be as easy as he had expected.
As he himself has said, Dr. Jadhav is getting prepared to contest the Lok Sabha election from Kalaburagi on BJP ticket against Congress veteran M. Mallikarjun Kharge. However, the contention of multiple aspirants for ticket in the party has made Dr. Jadhav’s way not too easy.
Meeting with Yeddyurappa
To douse the possible dissidence well in advance, party State unit president B.S. Yeddyurappa convened a meeting of ticket aspirants — Ambaraya Ashtagi, Subhash Rathod, Baburao Chauhan, and Namdev Rathod — apart from Dr. Jadhav at the Kalaburagi residence of BJP MLA for Aland Subhash Guttedar, soon after Mr. Modi left the city on Wednesday.
As per sources present in the meeting, Mr. Yeddyurappa made it clear that, out of the five constituencies reserved for the Scheduled Castes, the party would field Bhovi candidate in Kolar, SC-Right candidate in Chamarajanagar, and SC-Left candidates in Chitradurga and Vijayapura. He also expressed his desire to field Dr. Jadhav, who is from Lambani (Banjara) community, in Kalaburagi, as an inclusive measure.
Though all the aspirants, except Mr. Ashtagi, belong to Lambani community, they expressed discontentment for the “unilateral” consideration of Dr. Jadhav’s candidature from the party leadership.
Mr. Ashtagi presented his case by elucidating caste dynamics. He told the State leaders that the party’s Lambani candidate, Revu Naik Belamagi, had suffered a humiliating defeat twice against Mr. Kharge as the community was a small one. He also justified his candidature by stating that Holeya community, to which he belongs to, was the biggest community among the SCs.
Appeal to aspirants
Mr. Yeddyurappa only appealed to all the aspirants to abide by the decision taken by the party leadership and work in unity, said the source.
A BJP leader who was present at the meeting told The Hindu, “Dr. Jadhav might enjoy good support in his Assembly constituency, Chincholi, but it falls in Bidar Lok Sabha constituency, and his support base will not help him in Kalaburagi constituency. Secondly, Lambani community is smaller when compared with SC-Right or SC-Left.”