“Joining Congress wholeheartedly” Ex-Karnataka CM Jagadish Shettar after jumping BJP ship
17 April, 2023 | Pragati Singh
Along with Shettar, senior BJP leader Amar Singh Patil joined the Congress.
Jagadish Shettar, a prominent Lingayat leader and former Karnataka chief minister, joined the Congress party on Monday, a day after leaving the Bharatiya Janata Party ahead of the state’s Assembly elections on May 10. Shettar, who arrived at the Congress office in Bengaluru this morning, was inducted into the party by Congress President MallikarjunKharge, Karnataka State Congress President DK Shivakumar, and State Assembly Leader Siddaramaiah. Along with Shettar, senior BJP leader Amar Singh Patil joined the Congress.
Speaking at the occasion, Shettar said, “Yesterday I left BJP and today I joined the Congress party. Many are surprised as an opposition leader, former chief minister, and party president is joining Congress. BJP has given me every position and being a party worker I always worked for the party’s growth.”
” I was among those who organized and worked for the growth of the (BJP) party. Yes BJP gave me respect and position. I won as an MLA six times and I thought I would be naturally fielded for the seventh time,” he said.
“I thought being a senior leader, I will get the ticket, but when I came to know that I am not getting it, I was shocked. No one spoke to me nor tried to convince me, not even gave assurance about what position will I get,” he stated.
“On April 11the party in charge said I had not been given a ticket. He spoke to me like speaking to a child. What should I do? I got a call in the morning and I was spoken to like I am a first-time MLA or aspirant. I’m hurt. I was treated badly, ” Shettar said.
Shettar further said, “I was contacted by DK Shivakumar, Siddaramaiah, Surjewala, and MB Patil. When they invited me I came without any other option. I am joining Congress wholeheartedly.”
Addressing reporters Congress chief Kharge said, “I do not need to give more introduction about Jagadish Shettar. His joining will boost the enthusiasm of the Congress, He is the person who not only wins alone, he is a person who is capable to win more seats. Though he was in Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Jana Sangha, he is a non-controversial person. We have worked together.”
“Our target was 150, now after Shettar’s joining it is confirmed that we will reach the target,” added the Congress chief.
Taking to Twitter, Congress MP Randeep Singh Surjewala said, “A New Chapter, A New History, A New Beginning…. Former BJP CM, Former BJP President, Former Leader of the Opposition, Six times MLA, Jagadish Shettar joins the Congress family today. Karnataka Congress welcomes him.”
Notably, Karnataka State Congress in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala, Siddaramaiah, and Karnataka Congress chief DK Shivakumar met former CM Shettar in Bengaluru after he resigned from the BJP on Sunday.
In this regard, Jagadish Shettar took to Twitter and said, “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 usual, I believe that your love and blessings will always be with me”.
On Sunday, Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala claimed that Shettar had been humiliated and that the BJP had collapsed like a house of cards. On April 16, Shettar tendered his resignation as an MLA to Karnataka Assembly Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri in Sirsi.
Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai had previously stated that BJP President JP Nadda and Union Home Minister Amit Shah had promised Shettar a high-level position in Delhi.
“Jagadish Shettar has been a senior and an important leader in this region. JP Nadda and Union Home Minister had promised a big post in Delhi to Shettar. Everything would have been fine if the former CM had continued,” Bommai told media persons in Hubballi.
According to Bommai, some candidates are being denied tickets as opportunities are given to the younger generation. Shettar, a six-term MLA from the constituency, was reportedly advised by the party to step down and not seek re-election as MLA from the Hubli-Dharwad Central segment, prompting his supporters to express their displeasure with the party’s high command.
Shettar stated on Saturday, after announcing his resignation, that there was a conspiracy against him, which is why he was denied a ticket. Meanwhile, former Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa said on Sunday that if Shettar returns to the BJP, he will be welcomed. Karnataka assembly elections will be held in a single phase on May 10, with results expected on May 13.