Udupi : Hundreds of supporters of Raghupathi Bhat, the Udupi MLA who is caught in a sleaze video row, gathered in front of his residence in the town on March 30 in order to persuade him to contest the ensuing Assembly elections.
Bhat had a tough time convincing his supporters who gathered outside his house on March 30, Saturday in order to pressurize him to contest the Assembly polls. The supporters including councilors and panchayat members were shouting slogans and asking their leader to contest the elections either from the BJP or as an independent and that they would support him fully in both the cases. However, Raghupathi Bhat told his loyalists that he cannot contest elections either way as the BJP’s poll prospects may be affected.
Those who gathered included BJP men and members of Udupi CMC and other gram panchayats. They made a vehement demand that they would support the MLA if he contested. Some even asked the MLA to contest as an independent, in case he feels it would affect the BJP’s prospects if he contested from the party.
However, Bhat politely turned down all the pleas and said he cannot contest the elections at any cost. He said there was a conspiracy behind the sleaze video and that his enemies realizing that they had nothing significant to target him excluding the Malpe rave party and the mysterious death of his wife, had chosen a foul way to tarnish his image well before the elections.
He said it would be against the ethics of the party for him to contest the assembly polls and added the party’s prospects may be affected even in case he decides to contest as independent.
Later, Bhat somehow convinced his loyalists stating he would decide after consulting senior party leaders. Party men were seen raising slogans in support of the MLA.