Rebels & rivals make contest torrid for BJP's Yatnal

Rebels & rivals make contest torrid for BJP's Yatnal

Rebels working behind the scene to defeat their own party candidates and politicians focusing on negative aspects instead of developmental issues have made the Assembly election from Bijapur City seat more riveting.

Besides, the election from this north Karnataka city, known for its Gol Gumbaz, has assumed significance with former Union minister Basanagouda Patil entering the fray as the BJP candidate.

The Congress has fielded a newcomer Abdul Hamid Musrif, a realtor, while the JD(S) has given the ticket to former minister S K Bellubbi, who quit the BJP at the last moment. Though there are 10 candidates in the race, the fight is only between the BJP, the Congress and the JD(S).

The Congress was in a comfortable position till the entry of Yatnal into the fray as the BJP candidate. Political analysts say that his entry has made things complicated for the Congress as he would use the religion card to grab the traditional Congress votes.

But, with Bellubbi joining the contest at the eleventh hour, things have turned a little difficult even for Yatnal as he (Bellubbi) is likely to garner a chunk of traditional BJP votes.

No candidate is seriously putting forth development issues to seek votes.

Though they claim publicly that they would improve the city, create better infrastructure facilities and roads and improve water supply, all the three candidates are harping much on trivial issues.

While the Congress is highlighting ‘communal image’ of the Yatnal, the BJP is appealing people not to vote for the Congress nominee Musrif who has a ‘checkered past.’

Pivoted between the two principal players, Bellubbi is whipping up ‘communal and criminal background’ of the rival parties projecting himself as a clean candidate.

The rebellion factor is likely to affect the BJP to some extent. Former minister Appasaheb Pattanshetty, who was an aspirant for the BJP ticket, is upset over not getting the ticket and he has declared that he would remain neutral.

“The matter would have ended there itself if Pattanshetty had remained just neutral as he said and, things would have been easy for Yatnal. But Pattanashetty has not kept quiet,” a BJP leader who maintained anonymity said.

According to the BJP leader, Pattanshetty may try to block the victory of Yatnal, who is his political bete noire.

There are rumours that Bellubbi is contesting as the JD(S) candidate to divide Lingayat votes and thereby weaken the prospects of Yatnal.

Congress candidate Musrif is new to electoral politics and time will decide how people would receive him.