UDUPI: Sitting Udupi constituency MLA Raghupati Bhat broke down over being denied a ticket from the party for upcoming Assembly election and said the decision of the BJP high command was unexpected.
A teary eyed Bhat told the media, “The party has grown now and no longer needs me. It needed me when the party was in difficult times, but not now. I am very disappointed with the way the party has treated me. The list was released without any information and without taking any opinion”.
“I was very confident about my performance and hard work being a sitting legislator. I have worked honestly for people. I have great respect for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the senior leaders”.
Bhat further said, “The development has led me to think if I have become unwanted to the party after being an MLA for 15 years? I got to know about the candidates’ list on television. Not a single leader, not even our district president, called to inform me that I wasn’t getting the ticket for any specific reason. If they had been given a warning like Eshwarappa, I would have at least resigned. The decision makers have to answer me. There may be a perception that the party has grown and any common worker can win”.
“No one knows what the party’s situation was till 2000 and how the Congress dominated in Udupi. I am happy that I have strengthened the party in 25 years. Yashpal Suvarna is our own young man and I groomed him to be an activist. It is upsetting that the candidate was chosen without my knowledge. Yashpal may need guidance, he is our friend, but the party does not need me”, said Bhat.
Reacting to questions on his next move, Bhat said, “I am in shock now and I need a little time to come to terms with the party’s decision. I need time to take any decision, and right now, I am not in a proper frame of mind”.
To a question on whether he would consider joining G Janardhan Reddy’s KRPP, Bhat said, “I will not join , I will not even contest as an independent. I have supporters with me and got calls from different parties. The BJP flag should be draped on me when I die”, he said, stressing it thrice. “I will take a decision by myself. I will only get the opinion of the activists. I will not retire from politics and I will stand with the party workers”, Bhat added.