Congress benefitted from my joining: Shettar after rejoining Karnataka BJP | Bengaluru - Hindustan Times
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Congress benefitted from my joining: Shettar after rejoining Karnataka BJP

By, Bengaluru
Jan 27, 2024 05:58 AM IST

Former Karnataka chief minister Jagadish Shettar claimed that the Congress benefitted from his presence during the assembly polls before rejoining the Bharatiya Janata Party. Shettar said that he decided to rejoin the BJP due to the demand of party workers and the perceived need for Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Karnataka Congress chief, D K Shivakumar, indicated that many BJP leaders are in touch with him.

The Congress benefitted from my presence during the assembly polls, former Karnataka chief minister Jagadish Shettar claimed on Friday, a day after rejoining the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Former Karnataka CM Jagadish Shettar being welcomed after he rejoined the BJP, on his arrival at Bengaluru airport on Thursday. (Arunkumar Rao/ ANI)
Former Karnataka CM Jagadish Shettar being welcomed after he rejoined the BJP, on his arrival at Bengaluru airport on Thursday. (Arunkumar Rao/ ANI)

“I joined Congress when there were different circumstances in the BJP. After I joined Congress, the party benefitted from me in the elections, even the Congress leaders know about it and the people of the state know it. I have not made any loss to Congress,” Shettar said.

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He said the decision to rejoin the BJP was prompted by the demand of party workers and the perceived “need for Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the country”. “I wanted to rejoin the BJP, even the party workers wanted it. Moreover, the issue here is the need for PM Modi in the country. People want Modi to become the PM again. There is no shame in rejoining the BJP again,” the 68-year-old leader said.

Talking about the circumstances surrounding his departure, he said, “The BJP state leaders are analysing the circumstances when I quit the party. Even Congress knows what changes happened after I joined them. There was pressure on me from district, state and central leaders to join the BJP”.

“If there was no mutual interest in me joining the party, I would have not returned. After Vijayendra became the state (party) president, the talks took place, senior leader Yediyurappa also spoke to me and after meeting the central leaders, I returned to my home,” Shettar said.

“There was no discussion about any position with the BJP leaders. Then I wanted to contest elections, but now, I will accept the orders given by the party. I have not done politics based on profit or loss. The BJP leaders have assured to give me appropriate responsibility based on my seniority,” Shettar added.

Reacting to Shettar’s departure from the Congress, Karnataka labour minister Santosh Lad downplayed its political impact. Lad asserted that Shettar was treated respectfully by the Congress and emphasised that the party accommodated him despite an electoral loss.

“I am happy that he has left. It will not have any political impact on us,” Lad said. “I am not sure why he took the decision. The Congress treated him with great respect and gave him a position befitting his stature. Don’t know what made him take this decision,” Lad added.

“Our senior leaders accepted his application and made him the party candidate from Hubballi Dharwad Central constituency that he had held for over 30 years. Unfortunately, he lost the election. Despite that, we made him a member of the Legislative Council. Where is the question of him facing humiliation in the Congress,” Lad said in response to a query.

Meanwhile, state Congress chief and Karnataka deputy chief minister D K Shivakumar on Friday indicated that many leaders from the saffron party are in touch with him.

Shivakumar hits out at BJP

“I’m in talks with several (BJP) leaders, many are looking at us, I don’t want to reveal names,’’ Shivakumar told reporters while accusing the BJP of making all efforts to lure Congress leaders into the party.

‘’Whom have they left? They are trying everyone, I don’t want to take names. But we too know the job, I’m not speaking now that’s all, if not (their) houses would have become empty by now, but we are remaining silent that’s all,’’ he added.

On some BJP leaders claiming to be in touch with several Congress leaders and legislators, Shivakumar said, ‘’Don’t they know that I’m too in touch with them? Have they left me? Should I read the list...let’s not do it now”.

Noting that Shettar had joined Congress unconditionally after quitting BJP accusing them of ill-treating him, Shivakumar said, considering his stature being a senior leader, Congress gave him a ticket to contest assembly polls and despite him losing the polls by a margin of about 35,000 votes, the party made him an MLC.

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