Bus shelter lays bare differences in Mysuru BJP; Cong takes a dig

The differences among BJP leaders in Mysuru district have come out in the open following a spat over ‘dome-like structures’ atop a bus stand in Mysuru city.

It all started earlier this week when Mysuru-Kodagu MP Pratap Simha ‘threatened’ to demolish the dome-like structures constructed near JSS College, Ooty Road in the city.

“Recently, one (image) was circulated on social media platforms. There are gumbaz-like (dome-like) structures atop a bus stand. I have seen them too. There is one large gumbaz and two small gumbaz near it, it is a mosque. I have given three to four days’ time to the KRIDL (Karnataka Rural Infrastructure Development Limited) engineers (to demolish them). Or else, I will bring the JCB and demolish them myself,” he said.

The MP stuck to his stand Tuesday saying that he will wait for two more days for the dome-shaped structures to be removed. Kalasha-like features were added to the structure after his ‘threat’, he said. “I don’t know under whose orders they are doing this,” he said, maintaining that he would demolish only the domes and not the bus stand.

The bus stand falls under the Krishnaraja constituency, represented by BJP MLA SA Ramdas. The shelter, he said, was built in the style of Mysuru Palace and not along any religious lines. “Some people have misunderstood the design and claimed that it was built like a mosque. I have also filed a complaint with the police over rumours that the contractor of the project is Muslim,” he added.

Ramdas also dismissed Simha’s allegation that the kalasha features were added overnight, claiming that the kalashas were there before as well.

The dispute exposed the fault lines among BJP leaders in Mysuru, who are learnt to have differences with the local MP ever since he was elected for the first time in 2014. Earlier this year, another BJP MLA from Mysuru, L Nagendra, had lashed out at the parliamentarian over the implementation of a piped gas project in the city.

Prior to that, there were differences between Simha and Ramdas over a waste-processing plant in the city, as the MP reportedly favoured a Nagpur-based company to take up the project. Ramdas had alleged that the project was being pushed without taking local leaders into confidence.

During the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, local BJP leaders had worked against Simha, sources said, noting that he got fewer votes in Krishnaraja and Chamaraja constituencies – represented by Ramdas and Nagendra, respectively.

The ongoing spat allowed the state Congress to take a dig at the BJP. “The fight between Ramdas and Pratap Simha is proof of BJP vs BJP. The MP is going to demolish the bus shelter built by the MLA,” the Congress said in a tweet, asking the BJP to put its house in order before commenting on other parties.

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