Faced Humiliation in BJP, Will Strengthen Congress: Jagadish Shettar

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Terming it a matter of "self respect", Jagadish Shettar said, "I will strengthen the Congress in the state as I did in the BJP."

BENGALURU — Senior BJP leader and former Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar on Monday said that despite being instrumental in the building and strengthening BJP in Karnataka he was humiliated, and hence he has joined the Congress.

Terming it a matter of “self respect”, he said, “I will strengthen the Congress in the state as I did in the BJP.”

Addressing the media at the Congress headquarters in Bengaluru after joining the grand-old party, Shettar stated that on the lines of senior leaders B.S. Yediyurappa and the late Ananth Kumar, he had built the party in north Karnataka. “I have strengthened the party. The BJP party has given me all positions and respect. In return as a loyal worker, I have built the party,” he said.

“I have won six times since 1994 from Hubballi-Dharwad Central constituency. With the blessings of people, I managed to win with a margin of 20,000 to 25,000 votes every time. I was supposed to contest for the seventh time. Naturally, I was not worried about the allotment of the ticket,” he stated.

“After former CM Yediyurappa, I am the most senior in the party. Yediyurappa has retired from electoral politics. In the party system, I was the senior and in terms of community leadership also I came next. The conspiracy was hatched systematically as if I become MLA again, I will compete for the highest post and subsequently I was thrown out,” Shettar explained.

“My family has been associated with Jan Sangh since 1947. My uncle was the first person to get elected as MLA from south India. I was actively involved in ABVP. No one understood the pain. For six months I was humiliated. The state in-charges asked me at the last minute to send a letter agreeing to retire from electoral politics. There was no other way,” Shettar stated.

Few people have taken control of the BJP party and office in Karnataka. The ticket allotment process is also in the hands of few persons. “I am not criticising Prime Minister Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP National President J.P. Nadda. For the selfish goals of few persons in the state, the party is being sacrificed,” he said.

“I have respect for Yediyurappa. He has built the party. I requested the party that I will contest this election and resign from the post after six months. Even this was not considered. Imagine the humiliation and pain I have gone through. I am joining Congress after resigning from BJP,” Shettar maintained.

“The community members across the state are calling and asking that I was targeted because of my seniority. My new chapter will begin in the Congress,” he said. — IANS

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