T.V. Sivanandan

Basavaraj Patil Attur joins BJP

Vittal Heroor and Raju Gowda may follow suit

GULBARGA: The Congress suffered a jolt in its bid to recapture its hold in the Hyderabad Karnataka region in the Assembly elections with the resignation of three senior leaders, including the former Ministers, Gurupadappa Nagamarapalli and Basavaraj Patil Attur, and the reported decision of the former MLA from Surpur, Raju Gowda, and the former MLC, Vittal Heroor, who recently joined the Congress after quitting the Janata Dal (Secular), to resign from the party.

Miffed by the rejection of their claims for party ticket, the three leaders decided to part ways with the Congress.

While Mr. Nagamarapalli had sought the party ticket from Bidar after his traditional constituency Aurad was reserved for Scheduled Castes in the delimitation process in Bidar district, Mr. Attur had sought re-nomination from Basavakalyan and Mr. Heroor, a respected leader of the Kabbaliga community, had sought ticket from Afzalpur constituency in Gulbarga district and Mr. Raju Gowda sought the ticket from Surpur constituency.

The four leaders, after getting clear signals that their claims would not be entertained by the party, had decided to resign.

While Mr. Attur has joined the Bharatiya Janata Party, Mr. Heroor and Mr. Raju Gowda are likely to follow him. Mr. Attur is likely to be nominated as BJP candidate from Basavakalyan.

Mr. Nagamarapalli has not yet decided on his future course of action.

Mr. Heroor has decided to resign from the party after it was made known to him by the party leaders that the party ticket has been given to the former Minister, Malikayya Guttedar.

Mr. Raju Gowda decided to resign after the party indicated that the ticket would be given to Raja Venkatappa Naik.

The resignation of Mr. Nagamarapalli and Mr. Attur, two senior Lingayat leaders, from the Congress is likely to alienate the powerful Lingayat community from the party in the region.

However, not many senior leaders from Congress have ditched it in Raichur or Koppal districts.