Pradeepkumar Kadkol

Bijapur: In a major development, vice-president of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) and former Minister B.S. Patil Sasnur has decided to retire from politics.

Mr. Sasnur’s decision, which comes at a crucial time, may have an adverse effect on the performance of the party in the Lok Sabha elections as he has a large number of supporters and followers in the district. Sources in the Congress told The Hindu that most of the members advised Mr. Sasnur to retire from politics at a meeting he convened at his residence in Bijapur on Saturday evening. They also said that the party had not given him the respect he deserved.

Sources said that Mr. Sasnur, who is a staunch Gandhian, had made significant contribution as Health Minister in the S.M. Krishna Government in the State. Being an active member of the Congress for more than five decades, he was also responsible for strengthening the party from the grassroots level in the region.

Though Mr. Sasnur won from the Devar Hippargi Assembly constituency four times in 1978, 1983, 1989 and 1999, he was denied party ticket in the last Assembly elections on the basis that he was old.

A mining tycoon was given the ticket instead.