Sitting MLA changing party on poll eve, norm in Lingsugur

Sitting MLA changing party on poll eve, norm in Lingsugur

Sitting MLA changing party on poll eve, norm in Lingsugur

Party hopping is considered a stigma in politics. But, in Lingsugur Assembly constituency in Raichur district, it is seen a norm. Or, at least, this is what elected representatives in the constituency believe.

When Lingsugur MLA Manappa Vajjal quit the JD(S) and joined the BJP on Thursday, he was only following in the footsteps of his predecessors, who changed the party during every election. For, it is said people of the constituency re-elect the sitting MLA only if she/he changes the party.

Since 1994, MLAs representing Lingsugur have been changing parties every Assembly polls. Once elected, the sitting MLA gradually distances himself from the party he belongs to. It all started with Amaregouda Bayyapur who was first elected in 1994. A three-time MLA from the constituency, Bayyappur changed the party during every subsequent polls – 1994-99 from undivided Janata Dal; 1999-94 from JD(U); and 2004-2007 from JD(S).

Manappa Vajjal was elected from Lingsugur in 2008 when the constituency was reserved for the Scheduled Castes after delimitation. He was elected on the BJP ticket in 2008 and in 2013 elections, he hopped over to the JD(S) and was re-elected to the Assembly. Now, with elections round the corner, he is back in the BJP.

Interestingly, Vajjal had drawn flak from the BJP in 2010 when he abstained from the crucial trust vote that the then B S Yeddyurappa government was facing in the Assembly. Yeddyurappa had won the trust vote by just two votes.

Sources in the BJP and the JD(S) are of the view that both Bayyapur and Vajjal hopped from one party to another in order to beat the anti-incumbency factory. Vajjal, who is a contractor by profession, is a shrewd politician.

He wants to be with the party that has more chances of coming to power. Elected representatives over the years in this backward constituency have made it believe the sitting MLA wins only if he changes the party, the sources explained.

Vajjal refused to react on seeking his comments to the party-hopping trend. "What can I say?...Please don't ask me about it," he said.