Former Karnataka Chief Minister S Bangarappa appears all set to rejoin the Congress for the fourth time as he asserted that the foreign origin of AICC chief Sonia Gandhi was no longer an issue and that he wished to contest on the party ticket in the Lok Sabha polls. The development, however, may not go down well with the Congress' ally Samajwadi Party as it had warned yesterday that any move to poach its state secretary could lead to similar defections from the Congress and accused it of not following the coalition dharma.
"Sonia Gandhi had sacrificed the Prime Ministerial post and has the capability to manage the Congress and also the political situation in the country," Bangarappa, who had in the past raked the foreign origin issue, told reporters in Bangalore. He said "the foreign origin of Sonia Gandhi is no longer an issue."
The 76-year-old said he wished to contest the coming Lok Sabha elections from Shimoga constituency on a Congress ticket. "If the party gives me a ticket, I will do it." A backward class leader and a party hopper, Bangarappa remarked that "changes happen for personal or political reasons. It is not an uncommon thing in politics". Elected on a BJP ticket from Shimoga in the 2004 general elections, Bangarappa quit the party and his Lok Sabha membership and joined SP. He successfully contested the 2005 by-election but was defeated in the 2008 assembly polls from Shikaripura against BJP's B S Yeddyurappa.