New Delhi: Two days before the Ramanagara bypoll, BJP candidate L Chandrashekar, miffed at party leaders’ failure to campaign as promised, has decided to back the Congress-JDS joint candidate in the Karnataka bypoll.
Addressing the media in Bengaluru, Congress MP, who is in charge of electioneering in Ramanagara, announced Chandrashekar's decision.
Chandrashekar, son of Congress MLC CM Lingappa had joined BJP just two weeks ago. He accused BJP leaders of betrayal after fielding him in poll fray.
"None of the BJP leaders bothered to campaign for me and I felt I was being made a sacrificial goat in this bypoll battle," Chandrashekar said, blaming the BJP leaders for his decision to retire from contest and return to the Congress fold.
Reacting to the development, HD Kumaraswamy said: "The BJP should blame themselves for this instead of blaming Congress-JDS. They forced him to join the BJP, then didn't fulfil the promises made to him. They didn't consult their party workers before giving him the ticket."
Anitha Kumaraswamy, wife of CM HD Kumaraswamy, was to take on L Chandrashekhar in Ramanagara.
The sudden withdrawal of Chendrashekar could have a cascading effect on BJP's poll prospects in other constituencies too where bypoll is being held - Mandya, Ballari and Shivamogga Lok Sabha seats and Jamakhandi Assembly seat.
Ramanagara is one of the old Mysuru districts where the rivalry between the Congress and JD(S) is legendary; there are Congress villages that have cut off ties with JD(S) villages and vice-versa. This will be the first election in four decades without a Congress-JDS fight.
The Ramanagara constituency is one of the two seats that Kumaraswamy contested in the recent Assembly elections in May. He retained Channapatna and resigned from Ramanagara, necessitating this bypoll.