Kalaburagi: Not taking any chances, supporters of veteran Congress leader, Mallikarjun Kharge, who could be up against Dr Umesh Jadhav of the BJP in Kalaburagi this Lok Sabha poll, are wooing prominent leaders of the Lambani community in the constituency, to which the latter belongs.
With the Lambani community forming a substantial chunk of voters in the constituency, their support is crucial for any candidate from Kalaburagi.
Going by sources, the Congress is trying to persuade former ministers, Revu Naik Belamagi and Baburao Chavan, former vice-president of the Kalaburagi Zilla Panchayat, Subash Rathore and BJP district vice-president, Namdev Rathore to join it.
The party is reportedly trying to use the discontent among the BJP’s Lambani leaders following its decision to give the Kalaburagi ticket to a “rank outsider” like Dr Umesh Jadhav, to its advantage.
Before Dr Jadhav quit the Congress to join the BJP, Mr Chavan and Mr Subash Rathore were the frontrunners for the ticket and the two men are now expectedly unhappy at Dr Jadhav pipping them to the finishing line. Some of these leaders, especially Mr Chavan are understood to have spokem up against the party giving Dr Jadhav the ticket when BJP state chief, B.S. Yeddyurappa held a consultation with those hoping to contest from the constituency in Kalaburagi, recently.
These disgruntled leaders are said to be ready to leave their party and join the Congress if it offers to field them from the Chincholi Assembly segment when the byelection is held. “The Congress is in a fix as all three men, Belamagi, Chavan and Rathore, are eyeing this one Assembly ticket,” said a senior leader....