Former BJP MLA Raghupathi Bhat upset over being denied ticket in Council polls

BJP decides to field Dr. Dhananjaya Sarji, a paediatrician in Shivamogga, for Karnataka South-West Graduates’ Constituency

Updated - May 12, 2024 04:15 pm IST

Published - May 12, 2024 10:22 am IST - Shivamogga

A file photo of former Udupi MLA K. Raghupathi Bhat.

A file photo of former Udupi MLA K. Raghupathi Bhat. | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Former MLA and BJP leader Raghupathi Bhat has expressed his disappointment over being denied the party ticket to contest the Legislative Council polls from Karnataka South-West Graduates’ Constituency.

The party has decided to field Dr. Dhananjaya Sarji, a paediatrician and chairman of the Sarji Group of Hospitals in Shivamogga. Mr. Raghupathi Bhat, a three-time MLA from Udupi, was an aspirant for the party ticket.

In a post on his Facebook page, Mr. Raghupathi Bhat said he was disturbed by the party’s decision. Since 1994, he said, he had been an active worker for the BJP. He worked for the party in different capacities. He won all three times that he contested for the State Assembly. In the last Assembly elections held in 2023, he was denied the ticket. “However, I worked for the party. Senior leaders of the party had assured me a chance to contest for South-West Graduates’ Constituency. Hence, I involved myself in the graduates’ registration as voters. Besides that, I worked in Shivamogga Lok Sabha constituency as in-charge of elections for 40 days,” he said.

Mr. Bhat said the BJP, for the last four decades, had fielded a person from the coastal region for the South-West Teachers’ Constituency. The educated and intelligent voters of the region had been cheated. He wanted to know who would give justice to the coastal region. He ended his post by seeking suggestions from his followers.

Who is Dhananjaya Sarji

The party’s current candidate for South-West Graduates’ Constituency, Dhananjaya Sarji, 47, was born in Goppenahalli of Channagiri taluk in Davangere district. He obtained his MBBS degree from JJMMC in Davangere and did his MD in Paediatrics at KMC in Manipal. He has been involved in many organisations of the city.

He joined the BJP ahead of the 2023 Assembly elections, hoping to get a chance to contest for Shivamogga Assembly seat. However, the party fielded S.N. Channabasappa, who won.

Soon after the party announced the ticket, Sarji’s personal office shared his personal details with the media. The profile makes a mention of Sarji’s association with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangha. He joined the RSS at the age of 10 and attended training camps conducted by the organisation.

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