Ballari: With BJP rebel, Kaviraj Urs, refusing to bow out on Thursday, the last day for withdrawal of nominations for the December 5 bypoll from Vijayanagar, the constituency is now set for a four- cornered contest as he butts head with the official candidates of the saffron party, Congress and Janata Dal (Secular).
Seeing no sign of Mr Urs buckling under party pressure, BJP state president, Naveen Kumar Kateel issued a letter expelling him from the primary membership of the party post 3 pm Thursday. Besides Mr. Urs, the candidates in the fray include disqualified MLA, B S Anand Singh, fielded by the BJP, Mr Venkat Rao Ghorpade of the Congress, and N.M. Nabi of the JD(S).
Responding to his expulsion, Mr Kaviraj told Deccan Chronicle that he remained a loyal BJP worker at heart despite the action it had taken against him.
BS Anand Singh
While Mr Urs had made his displeasure clear when the party gave its ticket to Mr Anand Singh for the byelection, party leaders had assumed he would merely maintain a distance from it. But they are now worried as he has entered the fray as a rebel, upsetting the chances of its official candidate.
Going by sources, the rebel leader is being backed by some local RSS and BJP men, who are against the party's decision to field “party hopper” Anand Singh, who had joined the Congress ahead of the 2018 assembly poll despite winning the 2008 and 2013 state elections on a BJP ticket.