Amid speculation that he will contest as an independent, seven-time MLA Roshan Baig, who was denied the BJP ticket, did not file his nomination from Shivajinagar constituency on Monday,the last date to do so for the December 5 bypolls to 15 assembly segments in the state. Baig is one among the 17 disqualified MLAs, whom the Supreme Court had last week allowed to contest the bypolls. Baig was not inducted into the party, unlike 16 other disqualified legislators who were welcomed into the BJP fold, soon after the apex court verdict.
While the 13 disqualified MLAs have been fielded by the BJP again from their respective seats, M Saravana, a former corporator, has been given the ticket from Shivajinagar, denying it to Baig, a disqualified Congress legislator from the constituency. Resignation and absence of 17 Congress-JDS legislators during the trust vote of the H D Kumaraswamy government had paved the way for the BJP to come to power. BJP sources had cited "reservations" expressed by the party leadership over Baig, who faced inquiry in the IMA ponzi scam, among the reasons for his non-induction and denial of ticket. Baig, a former minister, had earlier claimed he will join the saffron party along with the other legislators and will contest the bypolls on that partys ticket. After BJP denied him a ticket, Baig had met Chief Minister Yediyurappa and expressed his displeasure.
He had also contemplated on contesting as an independent candidate during meetings with supporters subsequently, sources close to him said. In what looks like a farewell speech, Baig in a Facebook post has thanked his supporters and people of Shivajinagar constituency.
"I wholeheartedly thank all my supporters and well-wishers who came and showed me your love at Shams Convention Hall. I'd like to take this moment to thank everybody who supported me over the last 4 decades during my career as a representative of Shivajinagar, the post read. Stating that his relationship with Shivajinagar Assembly Constituency goes beyond politics, he said, ...I started as an area boy and got to be involved in the area as a significant stakeholder for more than 40 long years. Politicians and leaders might change but my love and affection for all of you will always remain the same and I, Roshan Baig, will always be at your service, he added.
Baig, a Congress man during most part of his political carrier, was suspended from the party in June for "anti-party" activities. Hitting out at Congress leaders for the party's performance in the Lok Sabha polls, Baig had held Siddaramaiah's "arrogance" and KPCC President Dinesh Gundu Rao's "immaturity" responsible for the "flop show." He also called AICC general secretary K C Venugopal a "buffoon. Congress has fielded Rizwan Arshad as party candidate from Shivajinagar.