Jagadish Shettar quits BJP, joins Congress
Jagadish Shettar quits BJP, joins Congress

Bengaluru: In a jolt to the ruling BJP ahead of the May 10 assembly elections in Karnataka, former CM Jagadish Shettar resigned as an MLA on Sunday. He submitted his resignation to Assembly Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri at Sirsi in Uttara Kannada district. Shettar was denied a ticket by the BJP in this election. Meanwhile, the opposition Congress has invited Shettar to join the party. The BJP's election in-charge for Karnataka, Dharmendra Pradhan, Union minister Pralhad Joshi, and senior party leaders, including CM Basavaraj Bommai, made several attempts to pacify Shettar but without success. Shettar, the MLA from Hubballi-Dharwad, is considered a prominent leader of the Lingayat community.

On Saturday, former state BJP president and six-time MLA Shettar said that he would resign as an MLA and end his three-decade journey with the BJP. The 67-year-old Shettar reiterated that he was firm in his decision to contest the elections. Meanwhile, senior Congress leader BK Hariprasad said that if Shettar wanted to join the Congress, his party would welcome him.

Describing Shettar as an 'honest chief minister', Hariprasad said that no allegations against him were made during his tenure. On the other hand, the BJP's state unit president, Nalin Kumar Kateel, said that senior BJP leaders made several attempts to keep him in the party. Responding to a question, Kateel said there was no conspiracy behind the party's decision not to field him this time. And the Congress has made contact with Shettar. It is being told that MB Patil, Siddaramaiah, and DK Shamanur are all in touch with Shettar. A special aircraft has also been kept ready to bring them from Bengaluru. Since Rahul Gandhi is currently in Kolar, other leaders are also busy with him.

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