Vijayapura: Despite Former Minister and Senior BJP Leader Appu Pattanashetty declaring that he will not quit the Party even if he is denied ticket for coming Assembly poll, people close to him believes that he could take any decision as the coming Assembly election is crucial to decide his political survival.
The matter of his political survival has become critical primarily because of the presence of his bête noire and sitting BJP MLA Basanagouda Patil Yatnal.
For decades, Yatnal has remained a major political enemy of Pattanashetty, despite the fact that both are in the same party and both started their careers from the BJP.
Yatnal who was shunted out by the party twice in the past for anti-party activities, could not only get himself reinducted into the party but more importantly got a ticket secured from the BJP in the last Assembly polls. On the other hand, Pattanshetty, despite remaining loyal to the party, failed to get a ticket.
The victory of Yatnal in the last Assembly polls, not only meteorically increased the power and authority of Yatnal in the party, but also rubbed salt on the wound of Pattanashetty.
In the last Assembly poll, even after losing the ticket, Pattanashetty did not leave the party, even when there were strong rumours of him planning to quit BJP and join JD (S).
He stayed with the party and also expressed his displeasure for being denied a ticket. He however did not campaign for Yatnal in the elections.
Now, after five years, when the speculations are rife that the party may offer a ticket again to Yatnal in coming poll, Pattanashetty has become alert to every possible development. Therefore, he is building up pressure on the party to offer him a ticket.
“It is clearly a do or die situation for Pattanashetty. He is well aware of the fact that if he failed to either win or ensure defeat of Yatnal, his political career in the BJP will essentially come to an end. If Yatnal wins, for sure, he will not leave any stone unturned to destroy the political career of Pattanashetty. Knowing well, Pattanashetty is making every effort to first get a ticket denied to Yatnal. But the bigger question is whether Pattanashetty will leave the party and contest in the election?”, said one of the persons close to Pattanashetty.
Without ruling out the possibility of Pattanashetty contesting in the Assembly poll, he however believes that the next decision would be dependent on the candidates to be announced by the Congress.
“If the Congress offers tickets to a weaker candidate and the BJP gives a ticket to Yatnal, then Pattanashetty may decide to contest in the election, possibly as an independent candidate. His supporters are putting pressure on him to contest elections in that political scenario,” he said.
But, if the Congress offers a ticket to a stronger candidate and BJP to Yatnal, then Pattanashetty may choose to stay with the party to ensure the defeat of Yatnal without contesting polls.
“In the scenario where Congress gives a ticket to a stronger candidate, then the possibility of Yatnal’s defeat shoots up. In that case, Pattanashetty need not to get blamed for betraying the party as his work will get done without quitting the party. It serves two purposes, the first one is that he will see his strongest political enemy losing polls, second is that Pattanashetty will show his loyalty to the party,” the insider said.