A 'Shocked' But 'Stubborn' Jagadish Shettar Joins Congress After He Was Dropped By Karnataka BJP As Candidate

Swarajya StaffMonday, April 17, 2023 7:50 am IST
Former Karnataka chief minister Jagadish Shettar has joined the Congress party. (Photo: Karnakata Congress/Twitter)
Former Karnataka chief minister Jagadish Shettar has joined the Congress party. (Photo: Karnakata Congress/Twitter)

A second prominent Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader has made the same political switch in Karnataka this past week.

Jagadish Shettar, who the BJP did not pick to contest in the upcoming election, has joined the Congress.

Lingayat leader Shettar resigned as a member of legislative assembly (MLA) and left the BJP on Sunday (16 April).

He had expected to be given the ticket "being a senior leader," but he was "shocked" when he came to know that he wouldn't be getting it.

"No one spoke to me nor tried to convince me," he said after joining the Congress party.

"I was treated badly and forcefully thrown out of the party that I built. I am joining the Congress by accepting its ideology and principles," the former chief minister said.

Shettar, who has won six elections in the past, was reportedly advised by the BJP to sit out the 10 May Karnataka election and not contest from his Hubballi-Dharwad Central constituency.

However, he had made up his mind to contest one way or the other.

"I am not the kind of person who is adamant and stubborn, but this time I am being stubborn because the party has humiliated me," he said.

B S Yediyurappa accused Shettar of prioritising himself over the BJP by rejecting multiple options presented to him. The party did not request the former chief minister to retire, clarified Yediyurappa.

The options presented to Shettar were: a promised ticket for a family member, Rajya Sabha membership, and a Union minister position.

Even Home Minister Amit Shah is said to have spoken to Shettar personally on Saturday (15 April).

The BJP in Karnataka has released candidate lists for 212 seats for next month's assembly election. However, 12 candidates, including one for Hubballi-Dharwad, remain unannounced for the 224-member assembly.

Last week, Laxman Savadi, a Yediyurappa loyalist and powerful Lingayat leader, quit the BJP and joined the Congress.

K S Eshwarappa, another senior leader, retired from electoral politics after he received hints of being dropped as a candidate before the lists were released.

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