Karnataka polls: BJP turncoat Jagadish Shettar blames ‘money power’ for loss

Shettar has also suggested that the BJP concentrated only on defeating him but lost the entire state in the process

Jagadish Shettar Karnataka assembly election polls 2023
Jagadish Shettar on the final leg of campaigning before the polls | Pic courtesy: Twitter/Jagadish Shettar

In the sea of Congress wins, former Karnataka Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar cut a sorry figure on Saturday (May 13) as he lost the Hubli-Dharwad Central seat to the BJP’s Mahesh Tenginakai by over 34,000 votes.

Shettar, who ditched the BJP for the Congress after being denied a poll ticket in April, has blamed “money power and pressure tactics” for his humiliating defeat, news agency ANI reported on Sunday.

The Lingayat heavyweight, who had earlier forecast a massive victory for himself, has also claimed now that his quitting the BJP and getting Lingayat support helped the Congress win 20 to 25 seats.

Also read: Karnataka polls: Will 73-year-old Modi retire from politics, asks Shettar

He has accused his BJP rival of “distributing 500-rupee and 1,000-rupee notes among voters. “In the last six elections, I have not at all used money power, never distributed money to voters. (This is the) First time the BJP candidate has distributed Rs 500–1000 to voters,” Shettar told ANI.

“There are a lot of business people and industrialists in the Hubbali constituency, and pressure tactics affected the result,” he told ANI.

“BJP concentrated on defeating me”

Shettar also suggested that the BJP had concentrated only on defeating him in the state. “All of them targeted Jagdish Shettar, and what did that do? They lost the entire state. What did they achieve? Was defeating Jagdish Shettar the final goal?” he was quoted as saying.

The six-time MLA said the Karnataka results will “definitely” affect the 2024 general elections.

Also read: Shettar ire opens up Brahmin-Lingayat fault line in Karnataka BJP

The BJP had earlier said Shettar would not make any impact. Former chief minister and BJP’s most formidable Lingayat leader BS Yediyurappa had said Shettar had “made a mistake”. Yediyurappa had reportedly revealed that Shettar had been promised Rajya Sabha membership and a ministerial berth at the Centre.

(With agency inputs)