Cong lures miffed BJP leader Ramesh Katti in Chikkodi

Cong lures miffed BJP leader Ramesh Katti in Chikkodi

Ramesh Katti

The Congress seems to be planning to cash in on the dissatisfaction within the BJP and lure its aspirant to the party fold by giving him candidature from Chikkodi constituency.

The BJP did not give the party ticket to former MP Ramesh Katti from Chikkodi. He had lost the previous election to Prakash Hukkeri (Congress).

The saffron party is fielding Annasaheb Jolle, who too had earlier unsuccessfully contested two Assembly elections. This
has not gone down well in the party. Annasaheb is the husband of Nippani MLA Shashikala Jolle. 

The grand old party plans to shift Hukkeri to the Belgaum constituency. Hukkeri had earlier said that he was prepared to shift to Belgaum as he has good equations with the leaders and people across linguistic communities there. 

After Jolle’s name was announced as BJP candidate from Chikkodi, dissatisfaction in the BJP came to the fore, but none of the leaders have expressed their dissent on record, barring Hukkeri MLA Umesh Katti, who urged the party to reconsider its decision.

Umesh had been lobbying for the party candidature for his younger brother Ramesh, who has remained active in the constituency.

Umesh said BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa had been asked to reconsider the decision and that he would wait for the response. The brothers could jump
the ship if their demands are not met, say political observers.

The Katti brothers are expected to hold a meeting with their supporters in Hukkeri on Sunday to decide on the next course of action if the BJP fails to reconsider its decision.

Sources said Congress leaders from the district were working on a strategy to retain Chikkodi and win Belgaum. They will have to convince Virupakshappa Sadhunvar to withdraw the nomination papers in Belgaum, if Hukkeri has to contest.