Moodbidri: There has been a feeling among the Congress workers in and around town that the present state minister of fisheries, K Abhayachandra Jain, elected from this constituency is the undisputed leader of the party in this region.
In secret, there has been accusations against him that he has not allowed other leaders to grow as rivals or parallels to him. K P Jagadish Adhikari, also hailing from his community, was a long-standing Congress loyalist until some years ago.
He was not allowed to be elected to the assembly, because Abhayachandra reportedly did not want to lose his grip over the constituency, allege Adhikari’s supporters.
Out of sheer frustration, Adhikari quit Congress and maybe just to spite the Congress leaders, joined the BJP. As he keeps proving that he is more loyal than the original partymen, the BJP workers themselves are not comfortable about his presence.
They have forgotten how he, during his days as a staunch Congressman, used to slam the BJP right, left and centre, nor have they forgiven him.
The rivalry between the two members of the same community, which is strongly rooted in Moodbidri and Karkala, has gone worse after Adhikari joined the BJP.
They may meet, share the dais at public meetings and functions and exchange formal smiles and hellos. But once they get into the political domain, they never fail to do one up on each other.
When the polling for the zilla panchayat and taluk panchayat was in progress on Saturday, Jain and Adhikari happened to come face to face at a booth in Borugudde, which falls under the Shirtady segment. They got into a spat over an inconsequential matter.
Both spoke in their mother-tongue Tulu very eloquently. In the process, they exchanged some ‘home’ truths. This provided enough entertainment to the voters who had come to the booth as well as to the mediapersons.
While Adhikari told Jain that he knew how to make Jain to sit at home, suggesting his defeat in the next assembly elections, Jain shot back saying that Adhikari did not have anything to do already and he has been made to sit at home.
Supporters from both sides gave their nod of approval and encouragement to their respective leaders.
While BJP supporters said that Jain would definitely lose in the next assembly election in 2018, the Congress workers said that Jain’s comment was a loaded one. He had taken a dig at Adhikari being sidelined in the BJP as well by being given an ornamental post of a vice president of the district unit.
A former BJP worker, who has now joined Congress, said that two days before the murder of Rafiq near the Polali entrance in Kinnikambla some years ago, some Bajrang Dal workers had waylaid a Tata 407 vehicle illegally transporting cattle,
On that occasion, Adhikari, then in Congress party, had reportedly joined the traffickers and kicked the Bajrang Dal workers, according to him. They have still held it against him.
One never knows how things take different turns in politics.