Kalaburagi: The BJP's move to bank on six-time MLA and local strongman Malikayya Guttedar, a former Congress man who joined the party recently, for a good showing in this district in the assembly elections has spiced up the poll scene in the Hyderabad-Karnataka region.
Kalaburgi is the home turf of senior Congress leader and former union minister M Mallikarjuna Kharge.
"I have taken up responsibility of three Lok Sabha segments (Bidar, Kalaburagi and Raichur) which has a total of 24 assembly constituencies. My mission is to win 15 to 20 seats for the BJP, says Guttedar.
Guttedar, who was earlier with JDS and erstwhile Karnataka Congress Party, has taken on Kharge, questioning his contribution for the development of Dalits.
He charged Kharge with trying to suppress his political growth and sidelining and marginalising him when he was in Congress.
First time MLA and Kharges son, Priyank Kharge, was made Minister in the Siddaramaiah cabinet while the claims of senior Congress leaders, including himself, were ignored, he said.
IT Minister Priyank Kharge, who is seeking reelection from Chittapur in the district, remains unperturbed.
He (Guttedar) is a known party hopper. I dont think Malikayya wields enough influence in the district or in the Hyderabad-Karnataka region to make dents on other peoples fortunes. No question of me being unnerved," Priyank Kharge said....