Raichur: Congress sitting MP from Raichur, B V Naik could join the Bharatiya Janata Party if the party does not field him from the constituency this Lok Sabha poll, according to sources.
If the Congress decides to part with Raichur and give it to the Janata Dal (Secular) as part of the seat-sharing exercise between the two coalition partners, Mr Naik is likely to quit it and join the saffron party, they claim.
With no anti-incumbency dogging him, it should have been a cakewalk in the normal course for Mr Naik to get a Congress ticket these elections, but with the Janata Dal (Secular) demanding Raichur, his fate now seems uncertain.
“In all, the Janata Dal (Secular) wants eight Lok Sabha seats from the Congress in the state, but may have to settle for five or six. It stands a good chance of getting Raichur as Congress president, Rahul Gandhi, may not care too much about Mr Naik quitting the Congress as he is more interested in keeping the Bharatiya Janata Party out of power at the Centre,” reason those in the know.
Sensing that he could be dumped by the Congress, Mr Naik has already reportedly knocked on the doors of the saffron party and Bharatiya Janata Party’s state unit president B S Yeddyurappa is learnt to have positively responded to him. Mr Naik is learnt to have assured Mr Yeddyurappa that he will bring at least three Congress MLAs from Raichur district with him to the Bharatiya Janata Party.
The fact that sitting Bharatiya Janata Party MLA from Devadurga, Shivangouda Naik, who gave the Congress leader a tough fight from Raichur the last Lok Sabha election, is unwilling to contest this time, has also reportedly worked in his favour as the saffron party does not have a strong candidate for the constituency these polls.