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Asnotikar fields his loyalists

Correspondent

Says the candidates are from his fans' association in Karwar


He had pledged support for the BJP

He earlier backed out from supporting JD(S)


Karwar: The former minister Anand Asnotikar dissociated himself from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and declared that he had fielded his own candidates in Karwar and Joida taluks.

Mr. Asnotikar was successful in securing ticket for his supporters for all the zilla panchayat and some taluk panchayat seats in Karwar taluk.

He had announced that he would support the BJP because he was still in the party. The BJP was taken aback by this sudden change in the stance of Mr. Asnotikar.

BJP had fielded Umakant Harikantra, former president of Karwar Taluk Panchayat and a staunch supporter of Mr. Asnotikar, from the Chendia zilla panchayat seat. The other aspirants from the BJP were told that the ability to win was the important criteria for giving ticket.

In Mallapur zilla panchayat seat, the party fielded Chaitra Kotharkar, wife of Chandrahas Kotharkar, who was the former president of Karwar Taluk Panchayat. In the Chittakula seat, Rina Naik, daughter of the former president of Uttara Kannada Zilla Panchayat, was given the ticket by neglecting the claims of BJP loyalists. All the three were supporters of Mr. Asnotikar.

Till the last date of withdrawal of nomination, Mr. Asnotikar kept his move under wraps. He issued statements supporting the BJP candidates. But soon after the last date for withdrawal of nominations,

Mr. Asnotikar said he had fielded candidates in all zilla and taluk panchayat seats in Karwar under the banner of Asnotikar Fans' Association.

Mr. Asnotikar began campaigning on Saturday and declared that he wanted to prove a point to his opponents and he would ensure the victory of his supporters in the local body elections. He said he would return to Karwar as a minister.

He criticised his one-time lieutenant Mr. Harikatrna. He was expected to support other independent candidates in other two zilla panchayat constituencies. JD(S) leaders of Uttara Kannada had recently said in a press meet that Mr. Asnotikar had ditched them by saying he would field JD(S) candidates in Karwar taluk and then backed out in the last minute by supporting the BJP. Now it was the turn of the BJP to blame Mr. Asnotikar.

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