Ramanagara polls: BJP cries betrayal, treachery by Cong

Ramanagara polls: BJP cries betrayal, treachery by Cong

BJP's official candidate L Chandrashekar from Ramanagara announced that he was quitting the party and withdrawing from the November 3 contest. DH file photo

The D K brothers of Kanakapura have yet again emerged successful as political punters by pulling off a coup just three days ahead of the crucial bypolls in Karnataka. They have left the BJP in a state of utter shock and bewilderment.

Earlier in the day, BJP's official candidate L Chandrashekar from Ramanagara announced that he was quitting the party and withdrawing from the November 3 contest.

Chandrashekar will not only rejoin Congress but also offered support to the JD(S)-Congress candidate, Anitha Kumaraswamy.

Chandrashekar's announcement set off rumours that BJP's candidate in Mandya - Siddaramaiah, too, would quit the party and rejoin Congress. Siddaramaiah immediately clarified that such wasn't the case.

BJP cries foul

A livid BJP, on the other hand, hit back angrily at Chandrashekar for his "betrayal" and the Congress for its "treachery".

While local Ramanagara leaders and workers staged protests by burning Chandrashekar's effigies and taking out a 'shavayatra' (procession of a dead body); state leaders levelled horsetrading charges against the Congress.

The party accused that the Congress had plotted to "hijack" Chandrashekar only to bring disrepute to the BJP.

BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa claimed that he had harboured suspicions about Chandrashekar's loyalty all along.

'Sensed something fishy'

"Shivakumar and his brother have bought him (Chandrashekar) off. A week before itself, I knew that something was fishy. That is the reason why I didn't campaign. Chandrashekar has betrayed the BJP. God will not forgive him," said an irate Yeddyurappa.

Admitting that the development was a setback for the BJP, Yeddyurappa, however said, that the party was confident of winning the remaining four seats

Ramanagara is among the four constituencies -- Bellary, Mandya, Shimoga (Lok Sabha) and Jamkhandi (Assembly), going to polls this weekend.

Yeddyurappa's son B Y Raghavendra, who is BJP's Shimoga Lok Sabha candidate said that all political parties, including the BJP, should learn lessons from Chandrashekar's betrayal. "This proves that anything is possible with money power," he added.

'His true Cong nature'

Union Minister D V Sadananda Gowda admitted that he was hurt by the development. Stating that Chandrashekar had exhibited his true "Congress" nature, he said:

"It's unfortunate that Chandrashekar has gone back to Congress, which has poached him by offering petty appeasements. The BJP had treated him with a lot of respect and love. Even God will not forgive him for his betrayal. I had extensively campaigned for him, while hundreds of BJP workers had extended their support to him. I had even released the Ramanagara manifesto. But Chandrashekar exhibited his Congress nature. Such leaders can never grow in politics". 

DKS laughs at accusations

The D K brothers, however shrugged off the accusations. Congress MP and Ramanagara bypoll in charge D K Suresh, who was by the side of Chandrashekar when he made the announcement in Bengaluru, said that the former had taken the decision of his own accord.

His elder brother and Congress minister D K Shivakumar who is managing to electioneer in the mine-rich Bellary district chose to laugh at the BJP's allegation.

'My son is a coward'

Interestingly Chandrashekar attracted the wrath of his father, C M Lingappa, a Congress MLC, for backstabbing the BJP.

Lingappa, who had earlier rebuked his son for joining the BJP, has yet again taken him to task for exhibiting a "cowardly" behaviour.

"I have no idea why my son joined the BJP, or why he came back. But he shouldn't have done this, especially two days before the elections. He has not only betrayed the BJP, but he has also betrayed himself. If he was truly my son, he would have stuck it out in the elections till the end. This is nothing but a cowardly move. It is because of such actions that our political system is rotting away," he added.

20-day stint

After 22 years in Congress, Chandrashekar had joined the BJP two days before the bypoll nominations, only to ditch it after 20 days.

Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, who was slated to travel to Ramanagara to campaign for his wife, Anitha, decided to cancel the exercise after Chandrashekar's departure from the race. He said that BJP was never known to treat outsiders well.

"Chandrashekar's exit is an example of how the BJP poaches leaders from other parties and dumps them unceremoniously. I guess Chandrashekar quit the BJP notwithstanding the conduct of the party leaders, who didn't fulfil the promises made to him. Earlier too, we have seen the same happen with other leaders, including senior politician S M Krishna. The BJP welcomed him into the party very eagerly. But now he has been now completely sidelined," added Kumaraswamy.