Karwar: In a sudden political development Uttara Kannada MP Anant Kumar Hegde on Monday visited the house of former minister and his beta noire Anand Asnotikar. Although the visit has raised eyebrows, both said it was a courtesy visit to meet Anand’s ailing mother and former MLC Shubhalata Asnotikar.
Anand Asnotikar was an MLA and minister in the BJP government in 2008-13. He quit the party because of his enmity with Hegde. Anand was in BJP till 2018 but Hegde reportedly opposed giving the former a BJP ticket for the assembly election. Later the BJP ticket was given to Roopali Naik. Asnotikar joined JDS at last moment and came second pushing then sitting Congress MLA Satish Sail to third position. Roopali Naik had defeated Asnotikar by a margin of 17,000 votes.
There after Asnotikar turned into one of the big critics of Hegde. During the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Asnotikar had declared that he would avenge his defeat by trouncing Hegde. He contested as a Congress-backed JD(S) candidate from Uttara Kannada but lost by a margin of a whopping 4.5 lakhs votes, which was the highest margin in the state.
The animosity between the two continued as Asnotikar once said he was waiting for Anant Kumar Hegde to die. He later retracted his statement and apologized by saying it was slip of tongue. He kept on criticizing Hegde at every opportunity.
But the MP’s sudden visit to Asnotikar’s house under the pretext of meeting Shubhalata has led to speculation among BJP workers that Hegde, who is now on not so good terms with MLA Roopali Naik, is trying for a different political equation during the next assembly polls.
Though Roopali Naik had accompanied Hegde to Asnotikar’s house on Monday, she kept mum all through the meeting. The meeting however has sent ripples in BJP circles with the prediction that Asnotikar will rejoin BJP soon.
(PIC: Uttara Kannada MP Anant Kumar Hegde met former MLA Anand Asnotikar at the latter’s house in Karwar on Monday)


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