Former Karnataka chief minister, Congress leader SM Krishna joins BJP | india-news | Hindustan Times
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Former Karnataka chief minister, Congress leader SM Krishna joins BJP

The former Karnataka chief minister, Krishna resigned from the Congress in January taking potshots at the party for being in a “state of confusion”.

india Updated: Mar 22, 2017 17:58 IST
Kumar Uttam
S M Krishna who was a former external affairs minister  and Karnataka chief minister resigned from the Congress in January.
S M Krishna who was a former external affairs minister and Karnataka chief minister resigned from the Congress in January.(HT Photo)

Veteran Congress leader SM Krishna joined the BJP on Wednesday, almost a year before the assembly election in Karnataka.

The 84-year-old joined the BJP in the presence of party president Amit Shah and union ministers Ananth Kumar and DV Sadananda Gowda.

The former Karnataka chief minister, Krishna resigned from the Congress in January taking potshots at the party for being in a “state of confusion”.

Krishna’s move is unlikely to alter the political equations in the state, but it helps the BJP in two ways. First, it presents the Congress as a divided house with veteran like Krishna, who served in the government of Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, walking out. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah battles anti-incumbency and is faced against a resurgent BJP, which is on a winning spree.

Second, Krishna can help soften the opposition that Vokkaligas – the agriculturist community forming 15 % of state’s population – have for the BJP. With BS Yeddurappa as its face, the BJP is considered a party of Lingayats who are at odds with the Vokkaligas in state politics. Lingayats who populates north Karnataka accounts for nearly 20% of state’s population.

Vokkaligas have largely voted for the Janta Dal (Secular), the party of former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda. Krishna is another stalwart from the community and he can help the BJP woo Vokkaligas in southern state.