Mangaluru: Raghupati Bhat expresses disappointment over BJP ticket denial

Pics: Spoorthi Ullal

Daijiworld Media Network - Mangaluru (VP)

Mangaluru, May 18: Former MLA Raghupati Bhat who has announced his candidacy for South West graduates constituency as an independent candidate, expressed sadness over not getting a ticket from the BJP party and said that the national and state BJP leaders have done injustice to the twin districts by assuming that their party workers and voters will vote for them regardless of any mistreatment.

Addressing the media on Saturday, May 18, at the Press Club in Mangaluru, Bhat said, "I have submitted my nominations and I request the voters to support me and cast their votes for K Raghupati Bhat on June 3. I started my political journey in 2001, and in 2004, 2008, and later in 2018, I participated in the Vidhana Sabha. I have always tried to help the people. When I was an MLA, I worked on securing finances for my constituency and expanding the existing roads, which were completely transformed during my tenure. Many other initiatives were also started by me. Based on my previous work, I am asking for votes for the Graduates' constituency. Even in 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, many farmlands were utilized, and 1,500 acres were used to grow agricultural produce, all by volunteers, including prominent actors, teachers, and students. I also started the Sadaka Shikshaka Prasasti to felicitate teachers whose students secured the highest scores, and schools with good track records received gold and silver medals.

“Yaksha Shikshana Trust was formed to protect and preserve the Yakshagana tradition among children. In 2004, V S Acharya told me that leaders should not just work randomly but should prioritize their efforts, and I tried my best to adhere to his words. We also started the first PG College in Udupi, despite Mangaluru University not granting affiliation initially. Later, many PG colleges were established. When I was an MLA, I worked hard and earned a good reputation. During COVID-19, I fed many labourers, and I successfully completed all the duties of an MLA. Later, I was denied a ticket, which saddened me, but I did not harbour any ill will. I supported the candidate and ensured his victory. They tried to convince me that the fisheries sector needed protection and promised another chance in the by-elections, but that did not materialize."

"I approached national and state-level leaders who instructed me to start working. When the Lok Sabha elections were announced, I worked in Shivamogga for 45 days. There were rumours that a member of the Lingayat community would receive the ticket at the last moment. Despite this, I wanted to work for the people, and they believe that the people of Mangaluru will not abandon BJP. I am participating because they believe BJP members will listen to them and voters will support us. It is true that injustice has occurred to the people of Mangaluru from the BJP party. The other candidate is also a good person, but the party should consider senior members and deserving candidates from the Lingayat community.

"When the Harsha murder case took place, people's sentiments were against the Sangh Parivar, leading to a peace walk initiated by Communists. Now, elections are conducted based on caste, and I was not convinced by the candidate. I do not think I am going against the BJP in any way since there is no symbol in these elections. Even after winning, I will remain with the BJP. Such a harsh decision had to be taken, and the injustice to the people of Mangaluru has given me confidence. That is why I am here to work, not to fight. I promise to be an active MLC, focus on helping guest lecturers, and become a voice for graduates. In 2004, I asked people to vote for me, and I promised myself that I would bring about change, which I did. I have been a voice for many,” he said.

When asked by the media about his long association with the party and how he feels about contesting without a party symbol, Raghupati Bhat said, "I am happy to participate, although I am also sad. There is no symbol, and I am not a sitting MLA. I stood to work, and this might be a first for BJP. I will rejoin BJP and strengthen it once again."

When asked if he was sad about helping the other candidate, he said, "No, I am happy that I worked with the party. This is not the first time I was denied a ticket, but at least I have the satisfaction of helping Narendra Modi become Prime Minister again."

Over who is responsible for such decisions in the BJP party and the main cause for it, he said, "The election process was completely different before. Now, even the BJP party is following the rules of Congress. I was only concerned about helping people and did not indulge in power politics. Although I have participated in elections four times and getting a ticket was difficult, people have always voted for me. They believe that the people of Mangaluru and Udupi will vote for BJP regardless of anything. From national leaders to state leaders, they do not think about the problems of the people of Mangaluru and Udupi."





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