“It is the conspiracy of a few people within the party to deprive me of ticket to contest from the Mysore-Kodagu Lok Sabha constituency. I will reveal their names at the right time. But I have not given up hopes yet and continue to strive to get the B Form to contest as BJP candidate from Mysore,” said the former BJP MP C.H. Vijayashankar.
He was among the frontrunner, with Appachu Ranjan and Mallikarjunappa to contest from Mysore but the party high command instead announced the name of Pratap Simha as its official candidate. The decision has not gone down well with a section of the party workers, underlining the bickering within the BJP. The two-time MP told The Hindu that he was disappointed with the party’s decision and said it defied logic. “I have nurtured the constituency and people know me. This practice of imposing a candidate from outside ignoring the recommendations of the district-level leadership is alien to the BJP and is reflective of the Congress culture,” Mr. Vijayashankar said. “It is the handiwork of some people to stymie my political growth. They have done this in the past, and I will reveal their names at the appropriate time,” he added.
Mr. Vijayashankar, who was returning to Mysore after meeting State-level party leaders, said Mr. Simha has nothing do with Mysore and does not even hold the party’s primary membership. “Such decisions will not go down well with the voters and will create a bad impression to the party’s image in the run-up to the elections,” Mr. Vijayashankar said.
“If there were dire political compulsions which made the party leadership opt for Mr. Simha, they should reveal what they are. I have been kept in the dark and this has not gone down well with the party rank and file in Mysore,” he added.
Not mincing words and hiding his disappointment, Mr. Vijayashankar said, “Perhaps, the party leadership imagines that the people of Mysore are soft-spoken and hence will tolerate anything.”
Playing the caste card to the hilt, Mr. Vijayashankar, who comes from the Kuruba community which has a considerable clout in the district, said that the decision to deprive him of ticket to contest from Mysore has left the BJP in the State without any OBC representation.
About his next course of action in case the party leadership ignored his plea, Mr. Vijayashankar said that he would discuss the issue with other leaders and workers but ruled out contesting as an independent. “I am still trying and I have hopes that the decision would be reversed and the ticket will be allotted to me,” he said.