The disqualified legislator from Bengaluru's Shivajinagar constituency R Roshan Baig has decided to refrain from electoral politics for the upcoming byelections.
A seven-time MLA from Shivajinagar, Roshan Baig had resigned from the Congress was not inducted to the BJP as promised by the party. It was alleged that Baig would contest as an independent candidate from Shivajinagar but he chose not to file nomination papers. He is one of the accused linked with the fraudulent multi-crore I Monetary Scam (IMA) scam.
He was one of the 17 disqualified MLAs from Karnataka, whom the Supreme Court had allowed to contest the bypolls last week. But Baig was not inducted into the party, unlike 16 other disqualified MLAs who were inducted to the saffron party.
Baig was once the undisputed leader from Shivajinagar, especially among minorities as the constituency was mostly occupied by the Muslim community until his name got linked with IMA scam. However, Baig said that it was not IMA that gave him an uncertain political future but the petty inside politics of BJP.
Muslim votes divided in Shivajinagar
He said that BJP leaders including Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa and Katta Subramanya Naidu, who had won thrice in a BJP ticket had been to jail and IMA is not a major factor here. He also said that Muslim votes in Shivajinagar are also divided this time after the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir and the recent Ayodhya verdict, which has created an anti-Muslim sentiment here.
Baig wanted to contest from Bengaluru Central as the Congress candidate during the Lok Sabha elections, but the party fielded MLC Rizwan Arshad destroying Baig's dream of becoming an MP. He had also planned to make his son Ruman Baig to get elected as an MLA.
Even though Rizwan Arshad lost two parliamentary elections back to back, Congress has given party ticket to him this time also to contest from Shivajinagar. Except for BJP, rest of all parties are fielding Muslim candidates for the constituencies.
JD(S) is fielding the party national spokesperson Tanvir Ahmed, from Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), party general secretary Abdul Hannan is contesting and BJP has given the ticket to former corporator M Saravana. Though Baig opted out from contesting elections it is still unclear if he would support the saffron fold in Shivajinagar.