BJP ticket sold to cricket bookie for Rs 20 cr: Belamgi

BJP leader and former minister Revu Naik Belamgi, who has been denied the party ticket to contest the Legislative Assembly election from Gulbarga Rural (SC), on Saturday charged that the ticket for the constituency has been sold to a cricket bookie.

Belamgi, a four-time MLA, who has decided to quit the BJP, told reporters here that there was a rumour that Zilla Panchayat member Basavaraj Mattimood was paying Rs 15-20 crore to get the ticket. Now, it has been proved true as the BJP ticket has been given to him.

Mattimood and his supporters had gone to Gujarat and met the BJP president Amit Shah’s son. Now it is all clear, he charged.

Belamgi claimed that the party’s Central Election Committee had cleared his name. But the party’s state president B S  Yeddyurappa has finalised Mattimood’s name in the last meeting.

“I have been denied the ticked as I stayed loyal to the BJP and did not go with the KJP. I am pained as the party has given the ticket to a man of money and muscle power and has criminal antecedents,” he said.

“Yeddyurappa had toured all around the state during Sankalpa Yatre earlier. He had told the people that H D Kumaraswamy (JD-S leader) had cheated him. But the same Yeddyurappa has cheated me now,” he said.

“My supporters and Banjara community leaders are forcing me to contest as an Independent or on the JD(S) ticket. I will take a suitable decision soon,” Belamagi said.

He said that he would take a decision based on the outcome of meetings of Veerashaiva-Lingayat, Koli and Kuruba community leaders.

Belamgi was minister for Animal Husbandry in the BJP-JD(S) coaliation government headed by Kumaraswamy as well as in the subsequent BJP government.

He had unsucessfully contested the 2009 and 2014 Lok Sabha elections as the BJP candidate against Congress veteran Mallikarjun Kharge from Gulbarga (SC) constituency.

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