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`BJP bowing to Sangh Parivar dictates'

By Our Staff Correspondent

MANGALORE, APRIL 3. The former MLA, K. Jayarama Shetty, who quit the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and joined the Janata Dal (Secular) recently, has accused the BJP of ditching him "by bowing to the pressures of a few Sangh Parivar leaders."

Addressing a press conference here, he claimed that the BJP started neglecting him ever since he objected to the interference of a senior Sangh Parivar leader in the selection of the President of the district unit of the party last year.

He said senior leaders of the BJP had promised him that he would be fielded from the Ullal Assembly Constituency. But they failed to keep their promise. Also, he was yet to know why he had been denied the party ticket. The party was "pre-determined" to deny the ticket to him, he said.

He said he joined the Jana Sangh in 1971. Since then, he was a loyal BJP worker. He would not return to the BJP as he was happy with the Janata Dal (S), he said.

Mr. Shetty claimed that he joined the Janata Dal (S) as per the wishes of his supporters in Ullal. A majority of the gram panchayat presidents and office-bearers of the village-level committees of the BJP had extended their support to him. The election would be a straight fight between him and the Congress candidate.

Unfortunate, says BJP

Meanwhile, in a press release issued here today, the President of the district unit of the party, Pratap Simha Nayak, termed the action of Mr. Shetty quitting the party unfortunate.

The decision of Mr. Shetty indicated that he was in the party only to achieve his self-interest. This had become clear as he quit the party on not getting the ticket, he said.

Mr. Nayak said the BJP workers in Ullal had taken the desertion of Mr. Shetty as a challenge. The BJP would win the seat, he added.

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