Boost for Anitha as BJP candidate withdraws from race

Chandrashekar said that he would extend support to the JD(S)-Congress coalition candidate, Anitha Kumaraswamy

With Chandrashekar's departure from the contest, Anitha, wife of Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, is facing the elections alongside five other independent candidates. (DH File Photo)

In a major embarrassment to the BJP ahead of the bypolls, its Ramanagara candidate, L Chandrashekar, on Thursday withdrew from the race and declared that he will rejoin the Congress.

He also said that he would extend support to the coalition candidate, Anitha Kumaraswamy, leaving the saffron party red-faced.

Ramanagara and four other constituencies will go to polls on November 3.

Addressing the media in Bengaluru on Thursday, Chandrashekar claimed that he was forced to take such a decision as he found no support or cooperation from leaders in the BJP. The party lacked unity, he said.

“I am deeply hurt by the negligence shown by the BJP leaders. Not only was I completely sidelined, but the factionalism in the BJP also started adversely impacting my candidature. The BJP leaders cannot tolerate each other. Also, none of them was accessible to me. That is why I have decided to withdraw from the race and support Anitha Kumaraswamy. If I stay back here, it will be detrimental to my political career,” he said.

Chandrashekar, who had joined the BJP just two days before the bypoll nomination dates were announced, hit out at all senior saffron leaders including B S Yeddyurappa, D V Sadananda Gowda, C P Yogeeshwara and R Ashoka.

“Yeddyurappa has made it apparent that he doesn’t even want to talk to me. While Sadananda Gowda has been conducting press conferences for the heck of it, Ashoka, on his way to Mandya, does not even bother to stop by Ramanagara,” he said.

“Yogeshwar had promised to handle the entire election expenditure. But none of the leaders even bothered to campaign for me. I had no selfish motives when I joined the BJP. But the infighting was too much for me to handle,” he said.

During the presser, he was flanked by Congress MP D K Suresh, who is in charge of the Ramanagara bypoll for the JD(S)-Congress combine.

Suresh said that he welcomed Chandrashekar’s decision. “Chandrashekar is originally from the Congress. I welcome his decision. He is upset with the BJP leaders for the way they have treated him. I don’t blame him for taking such a call,” he said, adding that Chandrashekar had informed the Election Commission about his decision.

With Chandrashekar’s departure from the contest, Anitha, wife of Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, will face the elections alongside five other independent candidates.

The bypoll here was necessitated after Kumaraswamy, who contested from both Ramanagara and Channapatna, decided to retain the latter.

 

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Boost for Anitha as BJP candidate withdraws from race

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