Even as the Bharatiya Janata Party in Karnataka struggles to finalise its list of candidates to fight the assembly elections in May, the party is faced with a new problem -- a sex scandal. Vicky Nanjappa reports
Raghupathy Bhat, the member of Legislative Assembly from the Udupi district in coastal Karnataka is allegedly caught on tape with an unidentified woman.
The two-time legislator from Udupi was considered to be a winning candidate. However, this latest row has prompted him not to contest the elections in May.
When asked for a comment, Bhat said this was a conspiracy and he will prove that the images are morphed. He also informed that his decision not to contest the elections was a personal one and also demanded that a high level inquiry is ordered into the matter.
This is the second time that Bhat has been dragged into a controversy. The last time his name was in the headlines was when his wife Padmapriya was murdered. The MLA once again made it to the news when it was alleged that he had a rave party in Udupi.
The decision by Bhat not to contest the elections could hurt the BJP, since finding a new candidate would be hard and the BJP would not like to lose its strong bastion. Bhat has however assured the new candidate of all support.
When contacted, state BJP president Prahlad Joshi said that the process of finding a njew candidate was underway. Regarding the CD row, he said that the matter would be looked into, but also added that this had not affected the prospects of the party.
The BJP finds itself on a backfoot today where the finalisation of candidates is concerned. Its list is not ready as yet and this is largely due to the numerous undecided candidates.
Each day, the BJP is seeing movement of its leaders into the Karnataka Janata Party headed by former Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa, and this has made the selection process very difficult.
Joshi said that the party would meet on March 31 and would take a call on the issue. “We are seeking the opinion and inputs from various quarters,” he said.
The BJP would meanwhile give tickets only to candidates it is sure of. If persons are found to be favouring Yeddyurappa, their names would not be considered as they are quite likely to pull out of the race midway to cause embarrassment to the party.