Ramanagara: As Karnataka is stepping into election mode on November 3 with by-polls scheduled in five constituencies, shocking news has stemmed from the BJP camp. Ramanagara candidate Chandrashekhar has submitted a letter claiming that he is withdrawing his nomination just 48 hours before polling.

The letter states, "While Lok Sabha elections are held on 3-11-2018, I am withdrawing my nomination from the election. With lots of hopes, I joined the BJP. But, none of the party legislators came in to support and campaign for/with me. They have left me with no other choice than withdrawing from the election. Hence, I am withdrawing rom the election and I will be supporting the Congress-JD(S)-led candidate Anita Kumaraswamy."

Ramanagara is a key constituency. In 2018 Assembly election in Karnataka, HD Kumaraswamy won from both Ramanagara and Channapatna. He retained the latter. His wife Anitha Kumaraswamy is contesting from the hot seat now with complete support of JD(S)'s coalition partner Congress.

"This is Congress's ploy," say BJP sources. Chandrashekhar jumped ship from Congress and joined the BJP 15 days ago. Ramanagara is JD(S)'s stronghold. But, Chandrashekhar is a Vokkaliga, and the "BJP thought this could, to some small extent, eat into the JD(S)'s vote bank," say sources.

Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy said, "BJP should blame themselves for this instead of blaming the Congress or JD(S). They forced him (Chandrashekhar) to join the BJP and they did not fulfil his promises. They also didn't consult their party workers before giving him the ticket."  

The BJP calls this an unfortunate development. "This political development is not good for the society. His father CM Lingappa once said, even if he dies his body won't support the JD(S), but his son is now withdrawing from the election. We never excepted he will do this."