Denying me ticket will have a bearing on 20-25 seats in Karnataka, says Shettar in veiled warning to BJP

Jagadish Shettar is the sitting MLA from Hubballi-Dharwad Central and was asked by BJP high command to drop his name for the elections.

ByPTI

Published Apr 15, 2023 | 10:13 PM Updated Apr 16, 2023 | 2:55 AM

Denying me ticket will have a bearing on 20-25 seats in Karnataka, says Shettar in veiled warning to BJP

In a rebellious tone, former Karnataka chief minister Jagadish Shettar has said that denying him a ticket to the Hubballi-Dharwad Central constituency for the Assembly polls will have a bearing on at least 20 to 25 seats, even as Union Minister Pralhad Joshi met him on Saturday with an assurance that the party would take an appropriate decision on his candidature.

Shettar is the sitting MLA from Hubballi-Dharwad Central and the BJP high command had, earlier in the week, asked him to drop his name for the election, leaving the former chief minister upset.

The BJP has not yet released the list of candidates for 12 constituencies, including Hubballi-Dharwad Central.

‘Grateful for councillors affection’

As 16 Hubballi-Dharwad Municipal Corporation councillors offered to tender their resignation with BJP state president Nalin Kumar Kateel today, the senior leader said that he was grateful to them for showing their affection for him.

Addressing his supporters, Shettar said that he has not lost hope and would wait till the evening. “I have not lost hope. I have time till the evening and the nomination will take place till the evening. I will take your opinion and then I will decide my next course of action. We will discuss if I do not get a ticket. I believe that such a situation will not arise,” he said.

“They (councillors) have expressed their displeasure. They are hurt. For them, it’s enough now. Their feelings are hurt so they are expressing their anger by resigning from the municipal corporation,” the former Karnataka Assembly speaker said.

Shettar added that that he will take note of the councillors’ opinion before deciding on the next step.

Also Read: BJP announces 2nd list; denies tickets to 7 sitting MLAs

Party needs his service: Pralhad Joshi

To a query that some top BJP functionaries were confident of him getting the ticket, Shettar said that he was aware of such statements but wanted “the result”. There was a protest in support of Shettar and a public meeting was held in Hubballi.

The BJP intensified its efforts to persuade Shettar and shed his rebellion as Joshi, along with State Minister Shankar Patil Munenakoppa met Shettar, while Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai spoke to him.

“We have been trying to persuade him. Efforts are on till now. I spoke to Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan yesterday. He (Shettar) is a senior leader of north Karnataka and we are making all efforts to retain him,” Bommai said.

Joshi told reporters, after meeting Shettar, that the party will make use of the senior leader’s services.

Hailing Shettar as a veteran BJP leader who served as an MLA for about 30 years, Joshi said, “We have conveyed to him that the party needs his service. Hence, the party is discussing about him.”

The BJP leader added that discussions were held with Shettar and the party would take an appropriate decision.

Also Read: BJP announces 1st list: 8 incumbent MLAs denied ticket

‘Denying ticket will affect 20-25 constituencies’

Earlier on Friday night, the senior BJP leader had said that he would wait for the party’s decision on the ticket till Sunday to decide his next course of action.

When questioned about the impact on the BJP for treating senior party functionaries in such a manner, Shettar said that the ruling dispensation has to think about it.

“The party has to ensure that it should not have any negative impact. Even former chief minister BS Yediyurappa has said that if I don’t get a ticket, then it will have a bearing not in just one place, it will have an immediate effect in many constituencies in north Karnataka — at least 20 to 25 constituencies,” Shettar said.

“It will indeed have an effect across Karnataka, but the immediate impact will be seen in 20 to 25 constituencies,” he added.

Also Read: Rebellion dogs BJP after first list of Karnataka candidates

Hubbali-Dharwad candidate yet to be named

Shettar held a press conference on 11 April, saying that he received a call from Delhi where a senior party functionary asked him to drop his candidature to make way for young people.

He said that this was not acceptable to him and expressed his resolve to contest the election this time, come what may.

The BJP has so far fielded 212 candidates for the Assembly election and is yet to announce the names of the remaining 12 seats.

Karnataka, which has 224 seats in the state Assembly, will go to polls on 10 May and the results will be declared on 13 May.

Also Read: Lack of consensus on 40 seats delays BJP candidates list

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