In a surprise move, the Congress decided to field Suresh, who is the Bengaluru rural MP, as an independent candidate from Kanakapura. Commenting on the decision, Ashok called the grand old party “confused”. The BJP leader said by fielding Suresh, the Congress seems to be confused as to who should contest against him and are afraid of the end result.
Ashok, who is contesting from two seats himself – Padmanabhnagar, which he represents, and Kanakapura – called the nomination of Suresh a “safety policy” in case brother Shivakumar’s nomination is declared invalid after scrutiny.
A Congress leader, who is in the know of the developments, said this “precautionary measure” had been taken as there were several pending cases against Shivakumar. Hence, the Congress leadership felt it was best to have a backup plan, the leader said.
“The BJP government can do anything to stop the Congress juggernaut and, so, it is best to be safe rather than sorry,” the leader said on condition of anonymity.
But Ashok said Shivakumar had some “heavy baggage” to deal with. “Shivakumar is afraid that he has accumulated hundreds of properties in his name. More the money, more the problems. His baggage is quite heavy and so he is on sticky ground,” he said.
The BJP leader further said the winds were in favour of the saffron camp in Kanakapura this time. He claimed that Shivakumar’s constituents were unhappy with him as he had not done much for them.
But as the BJP and Congress brace for a fierce battle in this assembly seat, which Shivakumar has handsomely won thrice, Ashok quickly slipped into a Bollywood-style remark: “Mere paas Modi ji hai, Amit Shah ji hai; DK Shivakumar ji ke paas DK Suresh hai, gaadi hai but mere paas Modi hai and that is going to be the winning factor,” the revenue minister said.
“I request the people of Kanakapura and ask them – ‘Do they want a Modi and Ashok government in Kanakapura or a Rahul Gandhi and Shivakumar government?’,” he said.
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