BJP looks at Manju for Gowda clan home turf

BJP looks at Manju for Gowda clan home turf

Series of meetings at Yeddyurappa's residence

Former Congress MLA and minister A Manju is all set to join the BJP and contest against Prajwal Revanna of the JD(S), the grandson of former prime minister H D Deve Gowda. DH file photo

Former Congress MLA and minister A Manju is all set to join the BJP and contest against Prajwal Revanna of the JD(S), the grandson of former prime minister H D Deve Gowda.

According to sources, Manju, who started his political career in the BJP, will be coming back to the saffron fold this week itself. He will be completing the formality of holding a meeting with his supporters in his home Assembly constituency of Arkalgud on Thursday.

Manju had unsuccessfully contested against Deve Gowda in Hassan in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. Gowda is moving out of Hassan to provide a platform for the electoral debut of Prajwal.

Manju was suspended by the BJP in 2002 for cross-voting in the Rajya Sabha polls. He later quit the BJP to join the Congress to win from Arkalgud constituency.

In 2018, Manju lost his Arkalgud seat and since then, he has been upset with the Congress for sidelining him.

“I have spoken to (BJP state president) B S Yeddyurappa. Politics is not stagnant water. I will have to take steps as per the aspirations of my supporters,” he said.

Manju said having an alliance with the JD(S) will in no way help the Congress.

“It will only benefit Deve Gowda and his family. For instance, Gowda is trying to make inroads into Mysore-Kodagu Lok Sabha constituency for developing the segment as a political constituency for himself or his family,” Manju added.

Lakhan likely for Bellary

The BJP is likely to field Lakhan Jarkiholi, the youngest member of the powerful Jarkiholi family from Belagavi, for the Bellary (ST) Lok Sabha seat.

Yeddyurappa’s residence at Dollar’s Colony in Bengaluru was a beehive of activity on Tuesday and discussion on Lakhan’s candidature was held, sources said.

Lakhan’s eldest brother is Congress rebel MLA Ramesh Jarkiholi (Gokak), who too is likely to join the BJP soon.

BJP has been looking
at a new face in Bellary,
after it failed to retain the seat in the Lok Sabha bypoll last year.

Yeddyurappa held a series of meetings with district office bearers and functionaries from Chamarajanagar, Kolar, Bidar and Gulbarga.