Vijayapura: The age-old rivalry between two political veterans; Former Minister and Congress MLA Shivanand Patil and Former Union Minister and BJP MLA Basanagouda Patil Yatnal has again come to the fore after both leaders started involving in the war of words.
The matter began when Yatnal claimed that two Congress MLAs are ready to quit the party and join the BJP. He even went a step ahead of appealing to the BJP High Command not to take those leaders into the party as they would create problems for the party.
Though Yatnal did not reveal the names, sources said that he was referring to two Congress MLAs, Shivanand Patil, Basavanabagewadi MLA and Yeshwantraigouda Patil, the Indi MLA.
While Yeshwantrai declared that he will stay in the Congress as the party has given him the identity and thus will never leave the party, Shivanand meanwhile said that no party including the BJP is new to him.
Shivanand however did not say clearly that he will quit the Congress or join the BJP. On the contrary, he challenged Yatnal to contest from Vijayapura City as an independent candidate and will also contest as an independent candidate.
“I challenge him (Yatnal) to contest as an independent candidate in coming assembly polls from Vijayapura City, and I will also contest as an independent candidate. Let me see who will win. Let us see whether he (Yatnal) will accept the challenge or not,” Shivanand said.
He said that in the past he has contested and won on Congress, BJP and JD (S) tickets, and is ready even to contest as an independent candidate.
Reacting to the statement of Yatnal, Shivanand said that for so long, he did not feel like replying to Yatnal but if he keeps raking up the matter and dragging him in it, then he will have to respond strongly.
Shivanand, however, said that Yatnal is being prompted by someone else to make such statements. However, he did not mention the name of the person.
On whether he will stay in the Congress or join the BJP, he said that it is his personal choice on deciding his future course of action.
“The Congress might have benefitted from me and I have also benefited from the Congress. Similar was the situation when I had won from the BJP in the past. Yatnal should not forget that I was in the party when Yatnal had become MP,” he said.