Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprise (NICE) founder Ashok Kheny has decided to contest the coming assembly elections from the Bidar South constituency, the seat which was unsuccessfully contested by his cousin Sanjay Kheny in 2008 on a BJP ticket. JD(S) candidate Bandeppa Kashempur won the seat by a slender margin then.
Mr Kheny, who hails from Kheny Ranjol village in Bidar district, made the announcement in Bidar after he was felicitated by the Hyderabad-Karnataka Rakshana Samiti. Mr Kheny, who heads the Karnataka Makkala Paksha, said his party will contest 100 Assembly seats in the state and will have no truck with any party. “Our candidates will contest from backward areas all over the state,” he said.
He denied rumours that he would join the BJP. “I have no special relationship with the BJP. I’m as critical of the BJP as any other party,” he said, adding that he declined the Rajya Sabha ticket offered by that party. He said that his intention to enter the fray is not to make money, but to serve the people. “Ours is a dena bank, not lena bank,” he quipped.
Mr Kheny, who had earlier proposed to take up a four-lane highway between Bidar and Hyderabad under Build Own Operate and Transfer (BOOT) system, announced a plan to uplift farmers in the district. “We are working out a plan with the Bidar Chamber of Commerce and Industry to take up contract farming on 5,000 acres of dry land in the district using Israeli technology. Farmers, who give land, will be paid a salary of Rs. 5,000 and 50 per cent share in the profit,” he announced, adding the proposal is pending before the government.