BJP looks to fish in troubled Mandya waters

BJP looks to fish in troubled Mandya waters

While the coalition partners continue to make a desperate bid at resolving the Mandya imbroglio, the Opposition BJP is trying to cash in on the dilemma.

On Monday, BJP leaders C P Yogeeshwara, C N Ashwathnarayana and Narasimha Nayak (Raju Gowda) got into a huddle with former Congress MLAs including N Cheluvarayaswamy and C N Balakrishna at a hotel in Bengaluru, fuelling speculations.

Also, what was surprising was the presence of sitting JD(S) MP L R Shivarame Gowda amidst these leaders.

Cheluvarayaswamy and Balakrishna, along with the other five defeated Congress MLAs from Mandya, have been rooting for actor Sumalatha Ambareesh’s candidature from the Mandya seat.  They are upset with the Congress for refusing to field her from Mandya.

Shivarame Gowda is disappointed that the JD(S) is not fielding him again from the constituency. The party leadership has decided to field Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy’s son Nikhil Kumaraswamy from the constituency. Gowda, who won the seat during the byelections held in November 2018, is said to have spent a lot of money during that time. Though he has giving media statements that he is not averse to Nikhil’s candidature, sources said Gowda is hoping to contest these elections too.

It is learnt that the BJP is trying to lure all these leaders to the party. The party is said to have offered to field Balakrishna, who lost the 2018 Assembly elections from Magadi on a Congress ticket, from Bangalore Rural.

“The BJP leaders met all Congress and JD(S) leaders who feel betrayed by the Deve Gowda family. All of them have been double-crossed by the Gowda family at one point or the other. The disgruntled leaders are exploring their options,” said one of the leaders who attended the meeting.

The local Congress leaders have decided to defy the party's instruction, to extend their support to Sumalatha.