BJP leaders considering a compromise in plan to avoid voting in bank polls

The DCC Bank in Belagavi where elections are scheduled for November 6.  

It seems that the BJP leaders in Belagavi district are considering a compromise in their plans to avoid voting in the District Central Cooperative Bank elections.

They may have to form alliances with Congress leaders to ensure that their nominees win unopposed.

BJP leaders Balachandra Jarkiholi, Laxman Savadi and Umesh Katti tasked with ensuring smooth elections to the bank are facing eight additional candidates for the post of 16 directors in the bank. The competitors include three from the taluks and five in the allied sector constituencies.

Party leaders have been holding a series of meetings to convince candidates of the need to withdraw from the elections to director posts now, and for electing the chairman and the vice-chairman of the bank, later.

On Thursday, BJP senior leaders held a joint press conference in a private hotel owned by Mr. Katti to say that they had buried their differences and that they would remain united for the next two decades. As the press conference ended, BJP leaders, however, remained closeted in a meeting hall at the hotel for hours.

BJP leaders say that their biggest challenge is in Khanapur where Congress MLA Anjali Nimbalkar has entered the fray against her political rival and Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti leader Arvind Patil. “Both are adamant that they will not withdraw. But we need to convince one of them to leave the field,” said a BJP leader who is involved in the negotiations.

If Mr. Patil moves out, Dr Nimbalkar would become the first woman director of the 102-year-old prime lending institution in North Karnataka. She would also be the lone Congress member in the bank.

Mr. Savadi and the Katti brothers are considered traditional rivals in the district cooperative sector. In 2015, Ramesh Katti, former MP and brother of Umesh Katti, won over Mr. Savadi by one vote. The clout of the Katti brothers is said to hold sway across parties and they seem to enjoy the tacit support of the Jarkiholi brothers. Mr. Savadi looks to the Sangh Parivar affiliated Sahakara Bharati for guidance. He is supported by MP Anna Saheb Jolle and MLA Mahantesh Dodagoudar.

Dr. Nimbalkar’s nomination is seen as a move by Congress leader Satish Jarkiholi to plant a loyalist in the bank. Mr. Patil is a known loyalist of Mr. Savadi. “Messages are being sent regularly to Mr. Satish Jarkiholi and Mr. Savadi to talk to their candidates and see whether they are willing to take a foot backwards. But there are no clear signals,” the BJP leader said.

Guru Metgud, who had filed his nomination paper from Bailhongal, announced that he would withdraw from the race to enable the unanimous election of Satish Kadadi, son of Eeranna Kadadi, BJP leader and Rajya Sabha member.

“There are multiple candidates from Ramdurg, but they can be easily talked into quitting,’’ said another leader.

Withdrawal of nomination papers is scheduled for Saturday. Polling, if needed, will be held on November 6.

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Printable version | Nov 26, 2020 4:01:17 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/bjp-leaders-considering-a-compromise-in-plan-to-avoid-voting-in-bank-polls/article32986880.ece

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