The BJP is bracing for more trouble in Bidar, where its decision to give the ticket to Bhagawant Khuba has sparked a violent backlash from supporters of Suryakant Nagamarapalli.
With the BJP refusing to relent even after his supporters ransacked the party office in Bidar, Suryakant decided to file his nomination papers as an independent on Wednesday.
He termed the BJP’s decision to field Khuba against Congress candidate Dharam Singh an unholy pact to ensure the latter’s victory. Khuba, who is the vice-president of district BJP, is considered a political lightweight.
A BJP leader told Express that the party was ready to give the ticket to Nagamarapalli, but he refused to contest and insisted on giving the ticket to his son Suryakant. The party central leadership rejected the request as Suryakant had played a role in the defeat of the BJP in the Aurad municipality election. The leader said the party then decided to field a Lingayat but former MLA Prakash Khandre and MLC Raghunath Rao Malkapure backed out after showing initial interest.
Khuba is a civil contractor with an RSS background. His uncle Ganapat Rao is said to be close to Yoga guru Ramdev, which is said to have played a role in clinching the ticket for him.
Opposition Leader in the Assembly Jagadish Shettar is also among the state BJP leaders who are close to Khuba.
As the party had no strong candidate after Nagamarapalli refused to contest, it was decided to give an opportunity to Khuba, fulfilling his long time demand for a big fight.