Jagadish Shettar, the former Chief Minister of Karnataka, has switched sides and joined the Congress party today. He was dropped by the BJP as a candidate for the upcoming election next month, and he is the second prominent leader to do so since last week.
As a well-known Lingayat leader, Shettar resigned from his position as an MLA and quit the BJP yesterday.
He met with senior Congress leaders late last night, traveling from Hubballi to Bengaluru in a special helicopter. Congress leaders including Randeep Singh Surjewala, DK Shivakumar, and Siddaraimah were present at the meeting in Bengaluru.
Shettar had been unhappy since the BJP allegedly advised him to sit out the May 10 Karnataka election and not contest from his Hubli-Dharwad Central constituency.
Shettar had held a press meet last week saying that he received a call from BJP national leadership 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.
Senior leader Laxman Savadi had also quit the saffron party and joined Congress last week. Laxman Savadi was also a powerful Lingayat leader.