M.G. Muley had stepped back from the contest after being lured by the BJP.
The withdrawal of Maratha leader M.G. Muley from the bypoll contest for Basavakalyan constituency triggered a protest by the Maratha community on Sunday. Mr. Muley had, a few days ago, quit the Janata Dal (Secular) and joined the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). He had subsequently filed his nomination papers as the NCP candidate.
Community members associated with Sakala Maratha Kranti Morcha and Sambhaji Brigade, apart from the NCP, staged a flash protest at Shivaji Park in Basavakalyan, Bidar district, and raised slogans against Mr. Muley, condemning his withdrawal. Some thrashed with footwear a picture of Mr. Muley printed on a banner. They alleged that Mr. Muley had stepped back from the contest after being lured by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
“Mr. Muley has claimed that Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa has assured him of fulfilling the Maratha community’s demands and that is why he is withdrawing from the contest to facilitate the victory of the BJP candidate. How could the Chief Minister personally assure him of fulfilment of the community’s demands? He is trying to cover up his misdeeds and betrayal to the community. How could he take the decision to withdraw from the contest without consulting the community leaders when he was the candidate of not just the NCP, but also the entire Maratha community? Mr. Muley has betrayed the community and sold himself to the BJP,” said Narayan Ganesh, district convenor of Sakala Maratha Kranti Morcha.
Another leader said the community leaders would hold a meeting in a couple of days and decide the future course of action.
“If Mr. Muley supports the BJP, the entire community will vote against the party. We will teach a lesson to him and the BJP. We will boycott him and appeal to community members not to have any relationship with him,” another protesting leader said.