Bengaluru: The truce between the Katti brothers and the BJP seems temporary at best, with the party refusing a ticket for Mr Ramesh Katti, brother of its MLA, Umesh Katti. Its "rash" decision could hit its prospects in Chikkodi this Lok Sabha poll, say party insiders.
Although the Katti brothers had declared after a meeting with state BJP chief, B S Yeddyurappa, that they had no intention of leaving the party, and would work for its candidate, Annasaheb Jolle in Chikkodi, BJP sources say the truce is unlikely to last long. With the party refusing to field Mr Ramesh Katti, who had lost the last election by less than 10,000 votes, its prospects in Chikkodi look bleak, according to them. “The Katti family is related to Congress candidate from Chikkodi, Prakash Hukkeri. When their members are not in the fray, they could back him instead, hurting the prospects of Mr Jolle,” they contend.
Mr Katti was reportedly Mr Yeddyurappa’s pick but Mr Jolle was handpicked by B.L. Santhosh, the south India organising secretary of the BJP on the diktats of the RSS, which believes the Modi wave will see any candidate through in the constituency and wants to cut out dynastic politics in the region. But its stand could harm the party’s prospects in Mumbai Karnataka, where it is banking on the influential Lingayat families, including the Kattis, to influence a sizeable number of voters in its favour. Should Mr Ramesh Katti’s supporters get upset with the BJP for denying him a ticket, they could back the Congress, note insiders. “The central leadership’s confidence in the Modi wave might backfire this election,” they warn.