Karnataka polls: Jagadish Shettar joins Congress after quitting BJP

Karnataka polls: Jagadish Shettar joins Congress after quitting BJP

Senior BJP leader and former Karnataka Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar on Monday (April 17) joined the Congress ahead of the May 10 Assembly elections in the state.

He joined the party in the presence of AICC President Mallikarjun Kharge, General Secretaries KC Venugopal and Randeep Singh Surjewala (Karnataka in-charge), KPCC president DK Shivakumar, and Legislature Party leader and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, among others.

Shettar on Sunday (April 16) had resigned as the Hubli-Dharwad (Central) MLA after the BJP denied him the ticket to contest the Assembly polls. The 67-year old six-time MLA, Shettar, was asked by the BJP top brass to make way for others, but he on his part had asserted he wanted to contest one last time.

Also read: Karnataka: Former CM Jagadish Shettar announces resignation from BJP, assembly

Was humiliated by the BJP: Shettar

After joining the Congress, Shettar alleged that he had been humiliated by the BJP by denying him a ticket and that party is today in the control of “very few people.”

“I was forcefully thrown out of the party that I built. I’m joining the Congress by accepting its ideology and principles,” he told reporters.

On his arrival in Bengaluru from Hubballi on Sunday night (April 16), Shettar had held discussions with Congress leaders Surjewala, Shivakumar, Siddaramaiah, former minister and campaign committee chief M B Patil, and veteran party leader Shamanur Shivashankarappa (Shettar’s relative).

This decision of Shettar, a prominent Lingayat leader from north Karnataka, may adversely impact the BJP’s prospects in a number of segments in the region, according to political observers. Shettar, a veteran BJP leader whose family has been associated with the party since Jana Sangh days, is an influential leader from its bastion of Kittur Karnataka region.

While in the BJP he had served as a Minister, Speaker, Leader of the Opposition and the chief minister.

(With agency inputs)

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