Bengaluru

Roshan Baig left in the lurch as BJP refuses entry citing IMA link

Senior politician R. Roshan Baig, one of the disqualified MLAs, has been left stranded as the BJP has blocked his entry into the party. The party announced a different candidate for Shivajinagar constituency, which was represented by him till he resigned along with other MLAs, bringing down the Congress-JD(S) coalition government.

Though disqualified MLA R. Shankar too missed ticket to contest the bypolls, Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa publicly announced that he would be made an MLC and Minister.

While Mr. Shankar officially joined the party on Thursday, Mr. Baig was the lone disqualified MLA to be left out in the induction ceremony that saw 16 joining.

IMA scam links

It is learnt that the BJP high command blocked Mr. Baig’s entry into the party over allegations of links to the multi-crore IMA scam. Mr. Baig is reportedly upset at what he sees as “betrayal” and is considering his options for the bypolls. He was incommunicado on Thursday.

While many BJP leaders refused to comment on why Mr. Baig was left out, senior Minister K.S. Eshwarappa minced no words. “We don’t want Mr. Baig in our party,” he told mediapersons at the BJP office as all other disqualified MLAs joined the party.

A senior leader said on condition of anonymity: “If we allow Mr. Baig into our party, we face the threat of the bypoll campaign to be centred on the IMA scam, affecting the candidature of others as well. The party has taken a principled stand to not induct a man accused of corruption.”

Mr. Baig was keen on joining the BJP and his son R. Ruman Baig even tweeted to their supporters on Wednesday night to gather at Mr. Baig’s residence on Thursday morning take a rally to the party office. But the tweet was deleted in a short time, as the list of disqualified MLAs joining the BJP released late on Wednesday did not have Mr. Baig’s name. He rushed to the Chief Minister’s residence, but that yielded no result as it was a high command decision, sources said.

Ranebennur seat

Though the BJP is yet to announce its candidate for Ranebennur, it is clear that Mr. Shankar wont make it as Mr. Yediyurappa told media persons in Tumakuru on Thursday: “I have assured Mr. Shankar that he will be made an MLC and a Minister.”

While Mr. Eshwarappa has been lobbying hard for ticket for his son Kantesh, district BJP president of Haveri Shivaraj Sajjan, who had earlier joined the Mr. Yediyurappa-led Karnataka Janata Party (KJP), has also been a frontrunner. The Chief Minister got in touch with Mr. Shankar and Shivaraj Sajjan on Thursday evening to broker peace.

Efforts stonewalled

Meanwhile, Mr. Yediyurappa is also reportedly upset over his efforts to field close associate C.P. Yogeshwar from Hunsur being stonewalled by the party high command and A.H. Vishwanath being fielded instead.

“He was assured a ministry after being made MLC by the Chief Minister. Mr. Vishwanath was not keen on contesting as he was not confident of a victory,” a senior BJP leader said.

However, a senior leader in the BJP high command blocked the proposal to field Mr. Yogeshwar and ensured ticket was announced to Mr. Vishwanath, said sources.


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Printable version | Nov 21, 2021 9:35:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/roshan-baig-left-in-the-lurch-as-bjp-refuses-entry-citing-ima-link/article29975719.ece

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