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Two MLAs join BJP, Congress ahead of 2023 Karnataka elections

Bengaluru With under two years to go before assembly elections in Karnataka, it seems the two national outfits--Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress-- are trying to muster up all the support they can as they continue to rope in potential candidates to take each other head on
PUBLISHED ON JUL 31, 2021 01:13 AM IST

Bengaluru With under two years to go before assembly elections in Karnataka, it seems the two national outfits--Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress-- are trying to muster up all the support they can as they continue to rope in potential candidates to take each other head on.

Former Karnataka chief minister S Bangarappa’s son, Madhu Bangarappa who was formerly with the Janata Dal (Secular) joined the Congress while the lone Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) legislator, who was expelled in 2019, joined the BJP on Friday.

Madhu is from Soraba constituency in Shivamogga district which he lost to his brother, Kumar Bangarappa from the BJP in 2018.

The inductions are taking place in the presence of the national leadership.

Madhu Bangarappa joined the Congress in the presence of party president DK Shivakumar, former chief minister Siddaramaiah and national general secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala.

“I promise to the Congress leadership that I will try my best to live up to the expectations that they have in me as Bangarappa’s son and work day and night to bring the party back to power,” Madhu said after his induction.

“A New Beginning, A New Start…. Yet the same old legacy continues… Our tall leader,

Late Sh. S. Bangarappa……TO Our young & dynamic, Madhu Bangarappa ! @INCKarnataka is proud to have you! Welcome to the Family!!!,” Surjewala said in a post on Twitter.

Likewise, Mahesh who served as a minister in the HD Kumaraswamy-led coalition government in 2018, joined the BJP.

“For the sake of my future in politics, I’ve decided to join the BJP. The president of the Karnataka unit of the party and other leaders will discuss and give the date, and I will join then,” Mahesh, who was ousted from the BSP in 2019, told PTI.

Mahesh had been elected from Kollegal and Chamarajanagar district and was expelled by BSP supremo Mayawati for allegedly violating the party’s decision to back Kumaraswamy in the contentious trust vote in which the latter’s government collapsed after at least 17 members defected to the BJP.

The 17 turncoats, most of whom became cabinet ministers, are now at a crossroads after BS Yediyurappa stepped down as chief minister earlier this week.

There remains little clarity on if they will be placed in the cabinet under Basavaraj Bommai or be dropped since their connection, people aware of the developments said, was more with power than the ideology of the BJP.

The Congress are leaving little to chance and Shivakumar has offered to take them back, adding more friction between him and Siddaramaiah, who has so far opposed any such move.

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