BSY gives up on Roshan Baig, won't give ticket

Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa. (PTI photo)

Seven-time legislator R Roshan Baig has been left deserted as Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa made it public on Friday that the BJP will not give him a ticket to contest the upcoming Karnataka bypolls on December 5.

Baig, the Congress rebel who has been disqualified, was hoping to be inducted into the BJP along with 16 other disqualified rebel MLAs who helped the BJP come to power. Baig also expected the BJP's ticket to contest the bypolls from his Shivajinagar constituency. But Baig was neither inducted nor given the ticket.

Also read — Rebel Karnataka MLAs barring Roshan Baig join BJP

"I talked to Baig in detail. I explained to him that given the circumstances, we will not be able to give him the ticket. I requested him to work for our candidate M Sharavana. What he does next is his call," Yediyurappa told reporters. Sharavana is a former councillor. 

Apparently, the BJP steered clear of Baig, a former minister, as his name figures in the multi-crore I Monetary Advisory (IMA) scam. Baig was once detained by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) that was probing the scam. That apart, Baig was targeted by BJP leaders following the murder of RSS worker Rudresh and a viral video of him hurling an expletive at Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2017 worked against him, sources said. 

Also read — Saffron party red-signals Roshan's induction

Baig is widely expected to contest as an Independent. 

In contrast, disqualified Ranebennur legislator R Shankar has been assured of a ministerial berth despite not getting the ticket to contest the bypolls. “I spoke with Shankar and convinced him. I have promised that he will be made a member of the Legislative Council and then a minister. I’m not someone who sticks to the chair of power and I always keep my promises,” Yediyurappa said. “Our candidate in Ranebennur will be Arunkumar Pujar, who is a young leader,” he added. 

Shankar was not given the Ranebennur ticket as speculation is rife that his chances of winning are slim. 

As many as 15 assembly constituencies are facing bypolls on December 5 as a result of the disqualification of the legislators who represented them. The bypolls are crucial for the BJP as it needs to win at least 7-8 seats to ensure a majority in the Assembly. For the Opposition Congress, these bypolls are an opportunity to exact revenge on the rebels.
 

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