In another jolt to the Bharatiya Janata Party, former minister R Shankar has decided to resign from the post of MLC over failure to get a ticket from Ranebennur constituency for upcoming Karnataka assembly elections.
Shankar on Wednesday approached speaker Basavaraj Horatti to offer his resignation. He is likely to contest polls as an Independent from Ranebennur. BJP had, a day ago, announced ticket for MLA Arun Kumar from the constituency that upset the MLC.
Shankar was picked as a minister in the Congress-JDS alliance government after he pledged his support to the alliance following his victory from Ranebennur assembly seat 2018 on a Pragnyavantha Janatha Party ticket.
He, however, shifted loyalties to BJP in 2019 and was one of the 17 legislators who were disqualified. The BJP denied him ticket in the bypolls but made him and MLC.
Expressing his displeasure over BJP’s first candidate list, Shankar said that the Congress-JDS rebels brought the Bharatiya Janata Party to power and “they cheated all of us”.
Last month, commercial tax officials conducted a raid at the residence office of the former minister in Haveri district. A huge cache of items, which were reportedly to be distributed as goodies to voters, was seized.
The officials’ haul included more than 6,000 saris, 9,000 school and college bags and plates and household items worth Rs 20-30 lakh. The operation lasted some seven hours and the seized items were handed over to local police.
According to local reports, the tax officials had asked Shankar to supply GST bills for the items, and the MLC had sought three days’ time to furnish them. Raghunandan Murthy, Haveri deputy commissioner, had said that if Shankar fails to provide bills, commercial tax officials will file a case after seeking approval of a court.
Out of 224 seats, tickets have been declared for 189 seats in the first list of the BJP. Out of these, 52 new faces have been fielded by the saffron party and tickets have been given to people who have been recognized in various fields, including 32 from the Other Backward Class, 30 from the Scheduled Caste and 16 from the Scheduled Tribes.
Read all the Latest Politics News here