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BJP Says 16 of 17 Disqualified Karnataka MLAs to Join Party; Roshan Baig The Odd One Out

Asked about his name missing from the list, sources close to Baig brushed it away as inconsequential, ascribing it to a "mistake in typing".

Deepa Balakrishnan | CNN-News18deepab18

Updated:November 13, 2019, 11:36 PM IST
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BJP Says 16 of 17 Disqualified Karnataka MLAs to Join Party; Roshan Baig The Odd One Out
File photo of Roshan Baig.

Bengaluru: "Requesting everybody to gather in large numbers in support of Mr Roshan Baig and Ruman Baig joining the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)," reads a message for journalists from former Congress MLA Roshan Baig's office.

But Baig may be in for a shock come Thursday morning. While the BJP's official press statement mentioned the induction of 16 of the 17 disqualified MLAs into the party, Baig's name is conspicuous by its absence.

Asked about his name missing from the list, sources close to Baig brushed it away as inconsequential. "He has spoken to Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa. Both him and his son (Ruman Baig) are joining."

The missing name was explained away as a "mistake in typing".

The lawmakers, belonging to the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular), will join the BJP after the Supreme Court on Wednesday granted them permission to contest the upcoming bypolls in December.

Deputy Chief Minister Ashwath Narayan earlier told reporters that the disqualified MLAs would be inducted at 10:30 am at the BJP headquarters in the state capital in the presence of Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa and party state chief Nalin Kumar Kateel.

Baig, who resigned as lawmaker on July 9, was among the last of the MLAs to put in his papers among the slew of resignations that brought about the fall of the Congress-JD(S) coalition government in the state. It would be naive to believe that a party, which so meticulously planned every detail of the coup that brought down the previous government, would be so sloppy as to make typing mistakes in enlisting new members.

Baig had earlier praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for focusing on inclusive growth, describing him as a "torch-bearer of change". Baig had also spoken out against his own party for treating "minorities as a votebank" and against his party leaders for being a "flop show" in the Lok Sabha elections in May.

However, there has since been speculation that Baig was trying to get protection from an investigation into the multi-crore IMA Ponzi scheme scam in which his involvement is suspected.

A senior BJP source told News18 that Baig could well end up with burnt fingers if he actually goes to the party office to offer his own membership. "It would only leave him embarrassed. After the suspected involvement in the IMA scam, the party wants to stay clear and he is not welcome," added the source.

The BJP has also made its candidature for the Shivajinagar Assembly constituency clear — it will most likely field a former corporator, Saravana, as its candidate.

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| Edited by: Moonmoon Ghosh
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