Congress's Bengaluru Central candidate Rizwan Arshad today hit out at his party's miffed lawmaker Roshan Baig stating that he has tried to help the BJP and attempted to sabotage his campaign.
"Roshan Baig has tried to help the BJP and sabotage my campaign. But in his own constituency Shivaji Nagar, people have supported me overwhelmingly and blessed me. Workers of the Congress party have defied his diktats and supported me," Rizwan Arshad said.
Earlier on Tuesday, Mr Baig had called Congress general secretary KC Venugopal a "buffoon", the party's state unit president Dinesh Gundu Rao "a flop show" and blamed Congress Legislature Party Leader (CLP) Siddaramaiah for the "collapse" of the Congress-JD(U) alliance in the state.
When he was asked whether Congress should have given more thought before assigning minister portfolios, Mr Baig said, "Portfolios were sold. How can I blame Mr Kumaraswamy for it? He wasn't allowed to function. From day one K Siddaramaiah said he is going to be the chief minister."
Responding to this, Mr Gundu Rao said, "It is unbecoming of a politician of his stature to be speaking like this, it reeks of pure political opportunism. We will take the required action when the time is right."
Soon after his statement, Congress party served a showcause notice seeking an explanation from Mr Baig within a week. In his reply, Mr Baig said he will not even bother reading the notice as it has "clearly been sent on the orders of the same people whose incompetencies were highlighted" by him.
Roshan Baig has been feeling sidelined for some time now. He had reportedly hoped for the Deputy Chief Minister's post when the Congress-Janata Dal Secular government was formed after the assembly polls in May last year. But that post went to his party colleague, G Parameshwara.
Rizwan Arshad called Mr Baig an "opportunist" and asked him to resign from the party. "He is an opportunist. If he has guts, let him resign and contest from the BJP. If Congress is such a bad party which gave him power for the last 10 years and made him MLA for the last four terms let him resign and contest from BJP. Let's see what happens in Shivaji Nagara," he said.
Karnataka has 28 parliamentary constituencies. Polling for the seven-phased Lok Sabha elections concluded on May 19. The much-awaited results of the general elections will be announced today.