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Veteran Cong leader praises BJP MP, urges people to reelect him

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NewsDrum Desk
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Bengaluru, Jan 27 (PTI) Veteran Congress leader Shamanuru Shivashankarappa has appealed to the people of Shivamogga to re-elect BJP member of Parliament B Y Raghavendra in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, considering the development work he has done in the constituency.

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Raghavendra is the elder son of Karnataka BJP strongman and former Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa.

"It won't be wrong in calling him (Raghavendra) a wise leader for keeping watch on the developmental works to be done in his constituency and ensuring that the work is completed, and also showing that even those works that are beyond his abilities can be completed," Shivashankarappa said.

Addressing an event in the district headquarters town of Shivamogga on Friday, with Ragahavendra seated next to him, the six-time MLA told the gathering that "In my opinion, you -- the people -- have done a good job by electing such a good person as your Member of Parliament. In a couple of months parliament election is coming, Raghavendra will once again be your representative as the BJP party will not give ticket to anyone else." Highlighting his cordial relationship with Raghavendra's father Yediyurappa, Shivashankarappa further said, "He (Raghavendra) will contest once again and considering the work that he has done for the development of the constituency, ensuring his win, is the big responsibility on you (people)." Shivashankarappa is a senior leader of the Veerashaiva-Lingayat community and is the chief of the All India Veerashaiva Mahasabha, which is considered to be the apex body of Veerashaiva-Lingayats.

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The Yediyurappa family too hails from the Veerashaiva-Lingayat community, and Yediyurappa is often referred to as the "Lingayat strong man" of the BJP.

Reacting to Shivashankarappa's statement, Raghavendra said in Shivamogga on Saturday that he is a senior leader, and having seen the development of Shivamogga, he has expressed his feelings and blessed him.

"Shivashankarappa is a stalwart, known for his straightforwardness, and despite being in another party, he has blessed me wholeheartedly. It's my good fortune. I have learnt from him to respect and appreciate the good works of others, irrespective of their party line," he said.

Yediyurappa in Bengaluru said Shivashankarappa is a stalwart of our community and his appreciation and blessings to Raghavendra for his good work has filled a sense of joy among party workers and people of the community. "I compliment and thank him." Shivashankarappa's statement seems to have caused some sense of unease among ministers in the Congress government, party leaders and workers.

Home Minister G Parameshwara said: "It may be his personal opinion...I don't know." Rural Development & Panchayat Raj Minister Priyank Kharge said, "I have no information about his statement, I have got to know about it from you (media)....Whoever it is, either me or someone else, has to abide by the party framework. He might have said it because of his good personal bonding. I don't think he has said anything from the party forum." PTI KSU RS KSU KH

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