Karnataka elections 2023: “Though from RSS, Jagadish Shettar is secular person,” says Siddaramaiah
17 April, 2023 | Pragati Singh
Senior BJP leader Amar Singh Patil also joined Congress along with Shettar.
After former Karnataka Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar joined the Congress, State Assembly Leader Siddaramaiah said on Monday that despite his affiliation with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Shettar is a’secular’ person.
Jagadish Shettar joined the Congress on Monday, a day after leaving the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahead of the Karnataka state assembly elections.
Speaking on the occasion, Siddaramaiah said, “I welcome former Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar to our party. He is known as a decent politician in Karnataka. Though he is from RSS, he is a secular person.”
“I worked with him as the opposition leader and he was the opposition leader when I was CM. He was an honest party worker in BJP and always stood with the party, not for personal gain,” the Congress leader added.
Shettar arrived at the Congress office in Bengaluru this morning. His induction to the party took place in the presence of Congress chief MallikarjunKharge, Karnataka state Congress president DK Shivakumar and Leader of Opposition in the state assembly Siddaramaiah.
Senior BJP leader Amar Singh Patil also joined Congress along with Shettar. 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 CM 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 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.
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.”
Congress president 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 Opposition, Six times MLA, Jagadish Shettar joins the Congress family today. Karnataka Congress welcomes him.”
Notably, 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”.
Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala said on Sunday that Jagadish Shettar had been humiliated and that the BJP had collapsed like a house of cards.
On Sunday, Shettar submitted his resignation as an MLA to Karnataka Assembly Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri in Sirsi.
According to Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, BJP President JP Nadda and Union Home Minister Amit Shah 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.
After announcing his resignation on Saturday, Jagadish Shettar also stated that there was a conspiracy against him, which is why he was denied a ticket.
“There is a conspiracy against me, will tell everything after resigning,” Shettar told ANI.
After being left off the BJP’s candidate lists, Shettar issued an ultimatum to the party, stating that if he was denied a ticket from his preferred segment, he would reconsider his political future.
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.