Ashok Kheny will gain, but not party: Miffed Congress leaders

Bidar: While the Congress clearly hopes the entry of Bidar South MLA, Ashok Kheny into the party will help its chances in the constituency, some within the party fear the move could boomerang on it as the well known businessman turned politician is reportedly not popular in the region.

Several political leaders here believe Mr Kheny’s joining the Congress could help him more than the party, which is banking on his caste and standing as an industrialist to win from Bidar South.

Disregarding the opposition from a section of the District Congress Committee, the  KPCC gave its green single for Mr Kheny’s entry as it reportedly sees  him as a better choice than late Chief Minister N Dharam Singh’s son-in-law, Chandrasingh for the Bidar South ticket. 

“Of the six seats in the district, the Congress has always given one seat to a Muslim, one to a backward caste and three to Lingayats. Currently the Congress does not have a strong Lingayat candidate in Bidar South, where former Minister Bandeppa Kashempur of the  JD(S) and BJP district chief,  Shailendra Beldale are likely to contest from. And so it has welcomed Kheny into the party,” said party sources. But going by those who are  upset by the businessman's entry, his popularity has dipped since he won the 2013 Assembly election from the constituency  as  leader of his outfit, Karnataka Makkal Paksha. 

“A strong anti-Kheny wave is sweeping across the constituency as he has  failed to fulfill the promises he made of turning Bidar into Singapore, strengthening the debt-ridden Bidar Sahakar Sakkare Karkhane , getting more compensation for farmers who lost their land to the Karanja project and setting up industries to provide employment to the youth. Not only has he turned his back on the constituency for almost four years , but he is also not accessible to the people. He  is only  trying to improve his prospects by joining the Congress,” said a political analyst here.

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