Ballari: On the last day of filing of nomination papers for the Ballari Lok Sabha seat on Tuesday, Congress candidate Mr V.S. Ugrappa and BJP nominee Ms J Shantha filed their papers.
Much to the surprise of the BJP, former Molakalmur BSR Congress MLA and Valmiki strongman Mr B Sriramulu's friend turned foe Mr S Thippeswamy too filed his nomination alleging that Mr Sriramulu or his sister Joladarashi Shanta do not belong to a Scheduled Tribe. According to him, Mr Sriramulu and his sister belong to the Boya community of neighbouring Andhra Pradesh and do not come under Scheduled Tribes (ST).
The day also witnessed a verbal clash between BJP and Congress leaders with Mr Sriramulu who is supervising the bypoll preparations remarking that the Congress is a divided house and was not able to accommodate even one of the six legislators in the state cabinet.
"Now they have imported a candidate, Ugrappa for this bypoll. Ugrappa has no address in Ballari. People of Ballari are sure to elect their own daughter, Shantha and thereby, give a befitting lesson to arrogant Congress leaders", he said.
Reacting to this, Mr Ugrappa said he had served the Valmiki community for 30 years and was not new to the people of Ballari despite the fact that he hails from Pavagada in Tumakuru district." I wish to ask Sriramulu about his relationship with Molakalmur and Badami? How could he contest there(in the recent assembly polls) despite being a native of Ballari? His uncle S Fakirappa contested from the Raichur Lok Sabha seat in 2009. They speak as per their convenience. But I'm a son of this soil", he added.
Mr Ugrappa also claimed he had sorted out differences among party legislators over his selection as the candidate,
Except for Congress MLA from Hosapete Mr BS Anand Singh, all local Congress leaders including Congress MLAs such as Ballari (ST) MLA Mr B Nagendra besides KPCC President Mr Dinesh Gundurao were present at the filing of nomination by Mr Ugrappa ensuring a show of unity.