Bengaluru: Disqualified MLA and former minister R. Roshan Baig, who was expected to enter the fray in Shivajinagar, his home constituency, as an Independent after he was denied the BJP ticket, on Monday surprised everyone by not filing his papers on the last day for doing so and also kept his supporters guessing about his next move.
However, his disclosure that he had requested leaders of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) not to go ahead with their move to challenge the verdict of the Supreme Court on the Ayodhya issue, gave enough indications that the veteran leader was keeping his ties with the BJP camp intact. The court had on November 9 ordered that the disputed 2.77 acres be handed over to a trust to build the Ram Janmabhoomi Temple and ordered the government to give an alternate five acres of land to the Sunni Wakf Board for bulding a mosque.
“Enough is enough. Over 3,000 people have died because of this issue in the last 30-40 years. We have to move on. So, I spoke with some of the office bearers and told them not to file a fresh application in the SC,” he told Deccan Chronicle.
On his rationale for taking such a stance, Baig said in Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries, mosques were relocated for various purposes like for building highways. Going by the same logic, there was no need for Muslim leaders to persist with the matter, he said adding that the younger generation should be allowed to live in peace and harmony.
Baig did not join BJP along with other disqualified MLAs with saffron party leaders wary about his alleged links with the multi-crore IMA scam. On Monday, the former Shivajinagar MLA held a consultation with community leaders to seek their inputs on whether he should contest the by-election.
While some suggested that he should contest, others felt that by staying away from polls, he could keep his clout intact. They were of the view that Mr Baig, whose name has been linked to the scam, may find it hard to convince voters if his opponents particularly the Congress party made the scam an election issue.
Mr Baig said, “I was advised by my wellwishers in Delhi that I should not contest the elections.” Asked whether they were from BJP, he evaded a direct reply saying he would not disclose names.
He said he would instead focus on social work. “I am not a real estate agent nor do I have any other business interests. I will work as a social activist for some time,” he said. It remains to be seen if Baig will back the BJP candidate M. Saravana after being denied entry into the party and also denied the Shivajinagar ticket. The other candidates in the fray are Rizwan Arshad of the Congress and Tanveer Ahmed of the JD(S)....