Bengaluru: Realising the importance of young and strong Vokkaliga leader to consolidate its vote bank, BJP is contemplating pushing CT Ravi, former minister and four-time legislator of Chikkamagaluru assembly segment as MP candidate to take on the JD(S) in its backyard - Hassan - in Karnataka.

Ravi, with his face value, has managed to find support in Belur, Hassan, Kadur and Sakleshpur areas of the state and could strengthen the BJP.

Talking to MyNation, CT Ravi said that he is more interested in state politics. However, if asked to take on a bigger role, he said he would gladly perform his duty.

"I want to be active in Karnataka politics and strengthen the BJP. We are now emerging as a good alternative to the Congress-JD(S) coalition government who have been ruling Karnataka. In case the party high command wants me to be active in central politics, I am ready," said CT Ravi.

Numbers matter

The BJP general secretary for Hassan district, Venugopal, said that the BJP secured 1,65,000 votes in Hassan during the 2014 Lok Sabha election and in the 2018 assembly election, the BJP got 2,90,000 votes from Hassan district. This is an indication that BJP is slowly making inroads into the JD(S)'s stronghold.

"By making CT Ravi as Hassan district in-charge, the top BJP leaders hinted that they would field him from Hassan. It will be a good move. Ravi has garnered support in Kadur, Belur, Hassan, Sakleshpur where Vokkaligas who are loyal to the BJP are more in number. If we work in Holenarsipura, Arkalgud and Channarayapatna MLA seat, we can be a decisive force in Hassan too.  All the cadres in Hassan will put up a united fight to ensure Ravi's victory," said Venugopal.

However, both the Congress and the JD(S), which are now coalition partners in the Karnataka government, expressed doubt over CT Ravi's impact in Hassan where HD Deve Gowda's name is enough to placate the BJP.

"There is no alternative to Vokkaliga leaders like HD Deve Gowda, HD Kumaraswamy and DK Shivakumar in old Mysuru region. As the entire nation is expressing anger against PM Modi for his false-promise-filled administration, Karnataka voters too will reject the BJP. Hassan voters will not be any different. If CT Ravi contests, he will surely bite the dust," said Kengal Renu, Congress spokesperson.

JD(S) vice president Nagaraj Gowda even challenged the BJP to bring PM Modi and file his nomination in Hassan.

"The BJP is daydreaming to dent the JD(S)'s vote bank in Hassan. Anybody from HD Deve Gowda's family will only win from here. Let the BJP add five more assembly seats from Chikkamagaluru district and merge with Hassan to take on the JD(S), yet they will not win," said Gowda.