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Bakila Ukrappa, Sullia’s first BJP MLA no more

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Sullia: Bakila Ukrappa, the first BJP MLA from Sullia constituency passed away here at his house in Mettinadka in Guttigar on November 20 following brief illness.

In 1983, Ukrappa was elected as MLA from the Sullia Constituency in Dakshina Kannada District in Karnataka and served in that capacity for 18 months.

Billed as a “party hopper”, Ukrappa has been watching the political arena of the state closely over the last 34 years. He was one among the 18 elected MLAs of the BJP in Karnataka when Atal Bihar Vajpayee’s party was in its early years of formation. The BJP had supported the Janata party government headed by then chief minister Ramakrishna Hegde. When Hegde dissolved the assembly and called for fresh elections, Bakila Hukrappa took a leap from the BJP to the Janata Party after an 18 month stint as a BJP legislator.

The move boomeranged as he lost the elections in 1985. He lost in the elections in 1989 too, contesting on a Janata Party ticket. Later, he joined the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Party headed by S Bangarappa in 1994 and tasted defeat again. Thereafter, he had brief stints in Janata Dal (Secular) party headed by H D Devegowda and the Congress returning to the BJP fold, following which his political career went into a tail spin. The BJP has strengthened its base in Sullia constituency since 1985 and the sitting MLA Angara has won five consecutive elections since 1994 closing the small window of opportunity that this rare politician may have had. After losing his MLA seat, he served Guttigaru village Panchayat as a member and president.

Latest reports indicated that he had joined Aam Aadmi Party in the hope of reviving his political career.

He was also a sportsperson and a Yakshagana artiste.

He is survived by wife, a son and two daughters.

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