Eye on LB Nagar, Chikoti adamant on joining BJP despite failed bid

Hyderabad: A day after Chikoti Praveen’s bid to join BJP with a grand show failed, he released a video statement telling his supporters not to be disheartened and assuring them he will join the party soon.

“Leaders who are happy for Tuesday’s developments will weep after I join BJP. I don’t do caste politics. I will show them what Chikoti Praveen is about,” he said.

Chikoti, a controversial casino organiser, found himself at the centre of a political blooper during planned ceremonial induction into the BJP. He had erected hoarding across the city, heralding his entry into the political arena. The stage was set. However, what was meant to be a seamless transition from gambling to politics took an unexpected twist.

On Tuesday, Chikoti led a spirited rally, drumming up support as he made his way to the BJP office for the scheduled induction. His excitement was palpable as he was poised for his political debut.

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But as fate would have it, just as Chikoti received a rather untimely piece of news — BJP Telangana chief and Union minister Kishan Reddy and other senior leaders, who were supposed to bring him on board, had discreetly made their exit from the BJP office before his arrival.

However, rumours have swirled about opposition within the BJP regarding his induction. Kishan Reddy was reportedly hesitant, given Chikoti’s colourful history. On the other hand, Karimnagar MP and the party’s national general secretary, Bandi Sanjay, appeared more enthusiastic about his inclusion.

Chikoti was initially known for his exotic interests, including a collection of snakes, lizards, and even ostriches. But beyond those predilections, Chikoti had made headlines for other reasons. He was once caught in Thailand during a casino raid, along with several others. Upon his return to India, he claimed to have been an unwitting guest at the hotel where gambling activities were taking place.

He is also facing an Enforcement Directorate probe in a money laundering case. He is also facing several criminal cases in various police stations.

However, his reputation didn’t stop there. Chatrinaka police in Hyderabad had booked him during the festive Bonalu season for employing private security guards armed with illegal weapons. Despite the case, he managed to secure bail from the court.

All of that didn’t deter Chikoti from venturing into politics. Top sources have informed that Chikoti has expressed his interest of securing BJP ticket to contest from LB Nagar seat in the upcoming elections, which has caused an unease in the party ranks.