Karnataka polls; Will 73-year-old Modi retire from politics, asks Shettar

Shettar expressed his desire to continue his involvement in politics as long as he has the backing of the public.

Jagadish Shettar
Shettar criticised the BJP, alleging that they resorted to unethical methods in order to influence voters I File Photo

On Thursday (May 11), former Karnataka Chief Minister and Hubballi-Dharwad Central Congress candidate, Jagadish Shettar, shared his thoughts on the current political landscape.

Shettar, who switched camps from the BJP to Congress just before the Karnataka Assembly polls after being denied a ticket, asked whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi would quit politics because of his age.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi is now 73. He was four-time Gujarat chief minister and is serving as PM for the second term. Will he quit politics? In fact, I want him to continue as PM for another term. Similarly, I want to continue in politics till I enjoy the people’s support.”

Furthermore, Shettar stated his own aspiration to remain active in politics, as long as he enjoys the support of the people.

Shettar responded to accusations made by Union Minister Pralhad Joshi, who claimed that Shettar had betrayed the party after holding significant positions in both the party and the government. In response, Shettar questioned whether Joshi, who is currently in his fourth term as MP and serves as a Union Minister, plans to retire from politics as well.

Also Read: Karnataka registers highest voter turnout since 1957

Shettar went on to accuse the BJP of engaging in unethical practices to sway voters in various areas of the Hubballi-Dharwad Central constituency.

The BJP allegedly distributed money to voters, offering amounts ranging from Rs 500 to Rs 1,000 per vote in several slums.

Shettar emphasised that during his time with the BJP, he refrained from such actions and managed to win elections without resorting to electoral malpractices. He is now seeking re-election for the seventh time.

Questioning the BJP’s strategy, Shettar wondered why the party chose Hubballi-Dharwad Central as an experimental ground instead of Kalghatgi, where Shivu Hiremath had dedicated his efforts to the party. Instead of fielding Hiremath in Kalghatgi, the BJP issued a ticket to Nagaraj Chebbi merely two days after he switched from another political party.

Also Read: Karnataka exit polls: Congress, BJP jittery; JD(S) eyes kingmaker role

Looking ahead, Shettar shared his confidence in winning the election, citing exit poll surveys that predict his victory. He believes that the Congress will secure a clear majority and form the government.

Shettar felt the outcome of the 2023 polls will significantly impact the 2024 Lok Sabha elections and polls in other states.