Sharath B Gowda, son of senior BJP MP, extends support to Congress in Karnataka
- Sharath unsuccessfully contested the 2018 assembly elections on a BJP ticket in Hosakote against N Nagaraju (MTB) of the Congress.
Sharath Bachegowda, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) rebel and the independent legislator from Hosakote in Kolar district, formally extended support to the Congress party in Karnataka on Thursday, indicating a total shift away from his previous party, the BJP. The Congress chose to highlight the development amid the direct political headwinds being faced by the BS Yediyurappa government in the state.
“I have decided to support the Congress for the development of Hoskote taluk and its people,” Sharath said on Thursday. As an independent, Sharath cannot formally join the Congress.
Sharath is the son of BN Bache Gowda, a senior BJP leader and the sitting member of parliament from Chikaballapura, about 60 kms from Bengaluru. Sharath’s move is being seen by some as a setback for the ruling BJP, which seeks influence in the constituency for its long-term plans for the southern districts of Karnataka, where it has little political representation.
Sharath unsuccessfully contested the 2018 assembly elections on a BJP ticket in Hosakote against N Nagaraju (MTB) of the Congress. However, he later defeated him as an independent candidate by more than 11,000 votes in December 2019 by-polls, necessitated by Nagaraju’s defection to the BJP along with several other MLAs from the Congress and the Janata Dal(S) just after the Lok Sabha polls. Sharath’s win was seen as a setback to the BJP, which hoped Nagaraju’s defection will help it expand footprints in Kolar district.
Indicating a 180 degrees turn in his political position, Sharath on Thursday criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Union government over issues like price rise, farmer agitation and the alleged lack of development.
“I will continue to remain an independent in the assembly,” Sharath said, while adding that he will back the Congress. His supporters have joined the Congress.
“People are knocking at the doors of the government. They are suffering and the only way to give them relief is to work together,” D K Shivakumar, the state Congress president said.