Former Karnataka DGP Shankar Mahadev Bidari, who is yet to officially join any political party, has allegedly reduced the chances of film star Umashree to get a Congress ticket for the assembly elections in Terdal constituency in Bagalkot district.
According to close aides of Bidari, the Congress high command has agreed to issue a B-form to Bidari, who hails from Banahatti village, which lies under Terdal constituency. It has been a shocking news for the actress, who has stayed in Terdal for the past five years to get rid of the ‘outsider’ label, that was given by her own party leaders.
Umashree, belonging to Devanga Samaj, a weavers’ community, had contested as a Congress candidate in the 2008 assembly elections and was defeated by the BJP contestant Siddu Savadi by a margin of 12,244 votes in the constituency that was newly carved out in Bagalkot district after the delimitation process in 2008. Though Devanga population is dominant in Rabkavi, Banahatti, Terdal and other towns and villages, Umashree had lost her battle due to dissidence among her party leaders.
Another aspirant for the Congress ticket, Mahaveer Danigond, had openly expressed his disappointment over fielding an outsider in the constituency.
The recent pro-Congress wave, which was observed in the ULB elections, has intensified the competition between more than seven candidates in the Congress unit of Terdal. It is said that Bidari’s brother Rajashekhar is also in the race. However, he has allegedly agreed to quit from the competition if his brother gets a ticket. Sources in the district Congress told DNA that Umashri has also set her eyes on the Rajarajeshwari Nagar constituency in Bangalore as an alternative.
“As many actors are residing in that constituency, she has claimed the advantage in her application submitted to high command of the party,” they added.
Another group of the Congress said Bidari’s name is being used by some local leaders to threaten Umashree to quit the constituency. However, a confidant Umashree told that she would contest from Terdal itself with the Congress candidate.
“Application for the Rajarajeshwari Nagar is just a speculation created by some section of media,” Umashree said.
Meanwhile, there was a discussion in the party that Bidari will contest from Indi constituency of the neighbouring Bijapur district. As Shankar’s wife hails from Halsangi village of Indi taluk, he is allegedly intended to contest from Indi.
“I have invitation from people of 15-20 constituencies to contest in the elections. I have been invited by two-three parties as well. I am going through all the proposals thoroughly. I will be a disciplined and sincere worker of the party that I join and I will obey the decision of the same,” Bidari said.