The Senior BJP leader and the former Karnataka Chief Minister Jagdish Shettar joined the Congress ahead of the elections to be held in May 2023; after he joined the Congress on 17th April 2023, the KPCC President D.K. Sivakumar handed over the to Mr. Shettar, the ‘B’ form to contest the elections from Hubballi – Dharwad Central constituency.
Jagdish Shettar has won six times from his constituency since 1994; he had won all the elections on the BJP ticket by the ruling party of BJP he was also denied a visa to contest elections from Karnataka Legislative Assembly elections on 10th May 2023 for the first time he would be contesting the polls on Congress ticket.
The 67 – year -old Lingayat leader joined the Congress at the party office in Bengaluru in the presence of AICC president Mallikarjun Kharge, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president D.K. Sivakumar and the former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, KPCC Campaign Committee Chairman M.B. Patil, and the AICC general secretary K.C. Venugopal.
Mr. Kharge offered the Congress party’s flag and a bouquet to Mr. Shettar soon after joining the Congress; Mr. Shettar claimed that “I quit the BJP and joined the Congress. Many in Karnataka are surprised that I have joined the Congress.”
“There have been discussions about me quitting the BJP for the last several months; no one understood my pain. I built the party with former Union Minister Ananth Kumar and former CM B.S. Yediyurappa. I built the party in North Karnataka the BJP had given me several positions I discharged my responsibilities seriously.”
Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge called Mr. Shettar a "non-controversial" person and said his induction would boost the party's enthusiasm. "I do not need to give more introduction about Jagadish Shettar. He is the person who not only wins alone; he is a person who can win more seats," Mr. Kharge said.
Mr. Shettar held a press conference last week saying that he received a call from Delhi where a senior party functionary asked him to drop his candidature to make way for young people. He said this was "not acceptable" to him. "I am not the kind of person who is adamant and stubborn, but this time I am being stubborn because the party has humiliated me," he said.
The BJP said Mr. Shettar had chosen himself over the party. Several options were given to Jagdish Shettar, and the party never asked him to retire from politics, said BJP strongman BS Yediyurappa, hitting out at the former chief minister.
"He was given several options, including a ticket being promised to a family member. The party also offered him to make a Rajya Sabha member and a Union Minister," he said.
Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said Home Minister Amit Shah spoke to Jagadish Shettar personally on Saturday. Mr. Bommai said BJP had given the maximum number of ministerships to the Lingayat community.
The Karnataka BJP has released two lists of candidates for the assembly election to be held next month, but 12 more candidates - including one for the Hubballi-Dharwad seat - are yet to be announced for the 224-member assembly.
Senior leader Laxman Savadi also quit the BJP and joined Congress last week. Laxman Savadi was also a loyalist of Mr. Yediyurappa and an influential Lingayat leader.
Even before the list was announced, another senior leader, KS Eshwarappa, announced his retirement from electoral politics. Sources say he had received hints that he would be dropped.
However, he was unhappy that the “party did not treat a senior leader well. On April 11, I was informed that there was no ticket for me and (former minister) K S Eshwarappa as if they were telling a small boy or a first-time MLA. If they had told me a week in advance and asked me to fulfill other responsibilities, I would have agreed," he said.
Shettar alleged that some individuals were controlling the party, and he was being forced out of a house he helped build. "When I am forced out of a house I helped build, there is no alternative left for me… We built the BJP, saying that the party is important and not individuals.
Today, the party is run so that only a few individuals control the entire party. I am not criticizing PM Narendra Modi, Union Minister Amit Shah, or national party president J P Nadda. They might not be aware of the developments in the state unit," he said.
“There will be no demands from Jagadish Shettar; we don't offer anything. He (Jagadish Shettar) will have to agree with the principles and the leadership of the party. We want to keep the country united, and only Congress can do that,” Karnataka Congress president DK Sivakumar said.
After resigning from the post of MLA and the BJP's principal membership, Jagadish Shettar took to Twitter and said, "Fed up with the political events“There will be no demands from Jagadish Shettar; we don't offer anything.
He (Jagadish Shettar) will have to agree with the principles and the leadership of the party. We want to keep the country united, and only Congress can do that,” Karnataka Congress president DK Sivakumar said " of the past few days, I have resigned from my MLA seat and will discuss my next move with the activists. As usual, I believe your love and blessings will always be with me".
Edited by -
Whitney Edna Ibe
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