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Karnataka: Jagadish Shettar rejoins BJP, months after quitting the party

Former Karnataka CM Jagadish Shettar had quit BJP and joined Congress in April last year.

Arushi Jaiswal Edited By: Arushi Jaiswal @JaiswalArushi Bengaluru Updated on: January 25, 2024 14:44 IST
Jagadish Shettar, BJP
Image Source : ANI Jagadish Shettar re-joins BJP

Former Karnataka CM Jagadish Shettar, who had joined Congress before the 2023 Assembly elections, rejoined BJP in the presence of former CM-senior party leader BS Yediyurappa and state BJP President BY Vijayendra, at party Headquarters in Delhi.  

The Lingayat leader cited his long association with the BJP and said many of his well-wishers wanted him to join back the party. Shettar also praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership, saying India has been strengthened under him.

Apart from Yediyurappa, Union ministers Bhupender Yadav and Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Karnataka BJP president B Y Vijayendra and its media head Anil Baluni were present. 

Shettar has met with Union Home Minister and senior party leader Amit Shah, as well as party national president J P Nadda, as he was persuaded to rejoin the saffron organization, which he had quit in a huff after being denied a ticket to contest the assembly polls.

Siddaramaiah on Shettar rejoining BJP

On Jagadish Shettar rejoining BJP, Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah said "Jagadish Shettar said that BJP insulted him by not giving him a ticket. Although we gave him a ticket he lost the assembly election. Still, we made him a member of the Legislative Council and treated him with respect. I don't know about him rejoining BJP. He told me that he had been humiliated by the BJP and would not go back again."

Earlier on Wednesday, Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar said the BJP is desperately trying to get back former Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar into its fold ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

Speaking to reporters at the Bayalukuppe in Mysuru district, Shivakumar said, "Many BJP leaders are desperately trying for the return of Shettar who is with the Congress party now. This is a tell-tale sign of weakness in the party. They don’t have candidates for the upcoming general elections."

Shettar quits BJP

Ahead of the May 10, 2023, Assembly elections, Shettar, who was denied a ticket to contest the polls, tendered his resignation as MLA. The opposition Congress quickly extended him an invitation to join the party.

He had then joined the Congress but lost the polls. The Congress has, however, made him a MLC, a position he has now quit to join the BJP.

Shettar's decision came after the BJP's central leadership made it clear that he would not be accommodated this time. He submitted his resignation to the Assembly Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri at Sirsi in Uttara Kannada district.

Shettar's legacy

He, a prominent Lingayat leader, was the 15th chief minister of Karnataka from July 2012 to May 2013. Shettar, a former State BJP President and a six-time MLA had on Saturday said he would resign as an MLA and also part ways with the saffron party after a three-decade-long association.

The 67-year-old reiterated that he was firm on contesting the elections.

Meanwhile, Senior Congress leader B K Hariprasad said his party would welcome Shettar in case he wishes to join it. Describing Shettar as an "honest CM", Hariprasad said there was no allegation against him during his tenure at the helm.

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