Hubballi: Senior BJP leader Umesh Katti said on Sunday that Dy CM Laxman Savadi, Ashok Pujari and Raju Kage will contest again from Athani, Gokak and Kagwad seats respectively in the December 5 by-elections.
His statement has a sparked controversy and has angered loyalists of disqualified MLAs Mahesh Kumatalli, Ramesh Jarkiholi and Srimanth Patil who had won from these seats in the May 2018 polls and are keen on contesting again.
“All three BJP leaders, Laxman Savadi, Ashok Pujari and Raju Kage are my close friends. I am confident that all of them will contest on the party ticket again in the by-election. Let the disqualified legislators from Athani, Gokak and Kagwad find their own way”, Umesh Katti told media person in Belagavi on Sunday.
Responding to his statement, Deputy CM Laxman Savadi clarified that the party high command will finalise the candidates for the by-elections. Stating that he will speak to Katti about his statement, he claimed that Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa has been in touch with local BJP leaders and is trying to quell the dissidence before the election. “It is not in my or in the hands of Katti to allot ticket in the by-polls. The case of the disqualified legislators is pending in the Supreme Court. The decision on allotment of the tickets will be taken by the party high command only after the court pronounces its judgment”, Savadi added.
Meanwhile, Savadi and disqualified legislator Ramesh Jarkiholi travelled together to Bengaluru from Belagavi on Sunday. This has triggered curiosity as Ramesh had lashed out against Savadi for criticizing his loyalist and disquaified legislator Mahesh Kumatalli....