Bengaluru: Days after resigning from the Karnataka assembly over his name not figuring in any of the Congress’ candidates lists for the May 10 assembly polls, R Akhanda Srinivasa Murthy, filed his nomination papers as an independent candidate from the Pulakeshinagar constituency, on Wednesday.
The Congress was in a dilemma on giving ticket to Murthy, a Dalit who had won the 2018 assembly election with the highest margin of 81,626 votes and created a record, party sources said. The grand old party has announced A C Srinivasa as its candidate for the constituency, after Murthy filed his nomination papers as an independent candidate.
After furnishing his papers, Murthy said he had faith in the people of his constituency who had helped him win with a huge margin.
“I have hope that the people of my constituency will back me because my constituency gave me the maximum votes in the entire state (in 2018),” he told PTI.
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To a question as to why he was denied ticket by the Congress, Murthy said this should be asked to the Congress state Chief (D K Shivakumar).
“In Congress, Siddaramaiah and B Z Zameer Ahmed Khan stood by me,” he added.
Asked why he did not join the BJP, when there was an offer from them to join the party and contest from Pulakeshinagar segment, he said the BJP has no scope in this constituency.
Murthy’s house along with the DJ Halli police station was torched by a violent mob in August 2020 in the midst of the COVID induced restrictions over a social media post shared by his relative against Prophet Mohammed.
The legislator was away from his home to attend Krishna Janmashtami event when the house was completely burnt.
The mob went on a rampage and attacked the KG Halli police station as well. Over 500 people were arrested in this connection. Yet, Murthy did not lodge a complaint against anyone.
Murthy was among the seven MLAs from the JD(S) who switched to Congress just ahead of the 2018 assembly elections.
Sources in the BJP said Murthy had turned down the offer from the party. The reason was Pulakeshinagar constituency has a sizeable Muslim population and he cannot antagonise his voters with whom he had a good rapport.
“This is the reason that he was with JD(S) earlier and Congress later. He can opt to contest election as independent, but not as a BJP candidate,” a source said.