‘Fed up’: Former Karnataka CM Jagadish Shettar quits BJP after denied ticket
Jagadish Shettar accused the BJP leadership of humiliating him and said that he will soon decide on his next course of action, whether to fight independently or with a party
Former Karnataka chief minister Jagadish Shettar, who was denied a ticket by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to contest the May 10 assembly elections in the state, resigned as MLA and from the primary membership of the party on Sunday. He accused the BJP leadership of humiliating him and said that he will soon decide on his next course of action, whether to fight independently or with a party.
Shettar submitted his resignation to the Assembly Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri at Sirsi in Uttara Kannada district. His decision came after the BJP’s central leadership made it clear that he would not be accommodated in the candidate list this time.
“Fed up with the political events of the past few days, I have resigned from my MLA seat and will discuss my next move with the activists. As always, I believe that your love and blessings will always be with me,” Shettar said on Twitter.
Earlier, he said, “I’m going to tender my resignation as an MLA and also resign from the primary membership of the party. Later, I will decide on my next course of action, whether to fight independently or with a party. The ill-treatment and humiliation by senior leaders of the party has hurt me. My decision is final. Some state leaders are mishandling the BJP system in Karnataka.”
He announced his decision after a meeting with chief minister Basavaraj Bommai, state party election in-charge Dharmendra Pradhan and Union Minister Pralhad Joshi in Hubballi on Saturday.
The six-time MLA was seeking a ticket from Hubballi-Dharwad (Central) Assembly constituency, but his demand was turned down as the party wanted to make way for a new face.
There was speculation on Sunday that Shettar would join the Congress on Monday. He, however, refused to speak on his future course of action. “I have not decided yet,” he told reporters in Hubballi.
Reacting to his resignation, former Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa said that the people of Karnataka will not forgive Shettar and Laxman Savadi, another BJP leader who recently joined the Congress. “I want to ask Jagadish Shettar why he is joining the Congress? If he comes back to the BJP, we will welcome him,” Yediyurappa said.
“We made him (Shettar) the chief minister of Karnataka, and we made him the state BJP president. The statements given by him have made us unhappy,” Yediyurappa said, adding that people knew about Shettar only because of the BJP.
Chief minister Basavaraj Bommai said that Shettar’s resignation will impact the party a bit in the Hubballi – Dharwad region. He also said that the party will overcome it and form the government after the assembly polls.
Bommai also said that the attempts to pacify Shettar did not work as he was adamant on contesting the assembly polls. “We offered a big role in New Delhi and a ticket to his family members. But Shettar took it as a prestige issue and didn’t agree to our terms.” Bommai also said that Union home minister Amit Shah also had spoken to him but he refused to change his stand.
BJP state president Nalin Kumar Kateel said that senior BJP leaders had made efforts to “keep him in the party”. “There was no conspiracy behind the party’s decision to not field him this time,” Kateel said in response to a reporter’s question.
Senior Congress leader B K Hariprasad said his party will welcome Shettar if he wishes to join it. Describing Shettar as an “honest CM”, Hariprasad said there was no allegation against him during his tenure at the helm.
Shettar, was one of the prominent Lingayat leaders in the BJP alongside Yediyurappa. He served as the 15th chief minister of the state from 2012 to 2013 and also held various portfolios in different governments. Shettar’s resignation is likely to have ripple effects in his hometown of Hubbali-Dharwad- a politically significant region.
The Karnataka assembly elections will be held in a single phase on May 10, with the counting of votes scheduled on May 13.