Hassan: The BJP is reportedly keen on Congress leader, A Manju returning to it and fielding him from Hassan should the constituency go to the JD(S) for the coming Lok Sabha poll in the seat sharing by the coalition partners in the state goverment.
Mr Manju, who was a BJP MLA in 1999, joined the Congress in 2004.
The saffron party sees him as a good bet for Hassan as he succeeded in narrowing the victory margin of JD(S) supremo, H D Deve Gowda from 2.91 lakh votes in 2009 to a mere one lakh votes in the 2014 parliamentary poll, when he contested against him on a Congress ticket.
Going by BJP sources, Mr Manju has been contacted to re-join it, but he hasn’t taken a decision yet as Congress leaders have advised him against quitting their party.
As for Mr Manju himself, he says he had every chance of winning from Hassan against Mr Deve Gowda in 2014 as the contest was close. “A difference of around 52,000 votes would have led to a different story in Hassan. The Congress can field anyone for the constituency in the coming LS poll. But if it finds no one suitable, I am ready to contest again,” he told the Deccan Chronicle.
However, should the Congress decide to give Hassan to the JD(S), Mr Manju feels it should demand Mandya in exchange. “If one of these seats is not given to the Congress party, what presence will we have in the old Mysuru region which is dominated by the Vokkaligas?” he demanded....