Hoskote: The BJP seems to be facing the heat in Hoskote constituency, after Sharath Bache Gowda, son of BJP MP Bache Gowda, filed his nomination as an independent candidate for the upcoming Karnataka bypolls. 

Sharath Bache Gowda unsuccessfully contested on a BJP ticket in the 2018 assembly elections against the then-Congress candidate MTB Nagaraj.

He filed his nomination papers on Thursday and the BJP has now accommodated MTB Nagaraj by ensuring his by-poll victory. MTB Nagraj joined the BJP today.  

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Though several attempts were made by chief minister BS Yediyurapa and other top BJP leaders to convince Sharath, no outcome came of it. 

Sharath had also refused to assume charge as chairman of the Karnataka Housing Board, and reportedly told senior BJP leaders, including chief minister BS Yediyurappa, that he wished to contest on a BJP ticket and is confident of winning. 

However, he said that if the party fails to recognise him, he would contest as an independent candidate, since his supporters are keen on him contesting in the bypolls.

In an interview with The New Indian Express, Sharath was quoted as saying that in 2018 elections, he lost by a very thin margin, and is now confident of winning the bypolls as an independent candidate.

“I’m not involved in any anti-party activities, and worked for the BJP for several years. After considering the wishes of my supporters in Hoskote, I took the decision to contest independently” said Sharath.

Sharath’s supporters hailed his decision to contest the upcoming bypolls as an independent candidate. Supporters gathered in large numbers and chanted Sharath’s name and expressed their support. 

The ruling BJP in Karnataka is staring at rebellion in a few of the bypoll-bound assembly constituencies as the disqualified MLAs joined the party after the Supreme Court allowed them to contest the bypolls on December 5.

At least two leaders Raju Kage from Kagwad and Sharath Bachegowda had openly revolted against the party, upset over indications that they won’t get tickets to contest the bypolls.

Both had unsuccessfully contested the 2018 assembly elections against Congress candidates, who are among the disqualified MLAs. Sharath Bache Gowda will now be contesting against MTB Nagaraj who will contest by-polls on BJP ticket in Hoskote.