Ballari: Molakalmuru BJP MLA B. Sriramulu is learnt to be upset with his party leadership for its partiality to fielding Mr Lakhan Jarkiholi, the youngest of the five powerful Jarkiholi brothers from Gokak, Belagavi district, from Ballari in the coming Lok Sabha poll.
Although the Valmiki strongman has so far not spoken out publicly against the entry of the Jarkiholis in Ballari, his loyalists are doing it for him.
According to party insiders, some of his staunch loyalists recently walked out of a meeting chaired by former CM Jagadish Shettar to discuss poll preparations at Hosapete, alleging that they were not being taken into confidence in selection of candidates.
“Although Sriramulu was at the meeting, he didn't try to stop his supporters,” observed a party leader. Some of his other loyalists have openly opposed the candidature of an “outsider” like Mr Lakhan and demanded the Ballari ticket go to a local leader
“The BJP leadership had in the past always gone with Sriramulu when selecting candidates for Ballari district, which he regards as his home turf. But it is ignoring him this time as he failed to ensure the victory of his own sister, Shantha , in the by-poll from the constituency not so long ago,” said a party insider. Going by sources close to Mr Sriramulu, his influence in his home district has weakened after he migrated to neighbouring Chitradurga and he is reportedly afraid the Jarkiholis could dent it further if they are allowed into it.
While Mr Sriramulu himself is reportedly not interested in contesting the Lok Sabha poll as he is eyeing the deputy Chief Minister's post should the BJP form the government in the state after the election, Kudligi BJP MLA, NY Gopal Krishna is said to be eyeing a ticket from Ballari....