Bengaluru: In a major development, former Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, who had joined the Congress before the 2023 Assembly election, rejoined the BJP on Thursday.
He also announced that he has resigned from the post of MLC and primary membership of the Congress party.
Shettar made the announcement at the party headquarters in New Delhi in the presence of Union Minister Bhupendra Yadav, former CM and BJP Parliamentary Board Member B.S. Yediyurappa and state President B.Y. Vijayendra.
Addressing the media, Shettar said, “I am rejoining the BJP party. Earlier the BJP party had given me ample opportunities and responsibilities. Due to various issues, I joined the Congress party. For 8 to 9 months there was discussion among the BJP leaders and workers about bringing me back to the party and I was always asked when I would return.
“This is the matter of happiness. I met Union Minister for Home Amit Shah in the morning. He welcomed me with all the warmth and honour.
“We will meet BJP National President J.P. Nadda soon in this regard.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi is uniting the nation and empowering the nation. He was working towards securing the country. He should be re-elected as the PM for the progress and strengthening of the country,” Shettar stated.
Former Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, his son, State BJP President B.Y. Vijayendra has successfully convinced the high command about the importance of pulling back Shettar to the party ahead of the Parliamentary polls.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah had spoken to Shettar in this regard. Shah was able to convince Shettar, said sources.
Though Shettar as a Congress candidate lost election, his estrangement from BJP dented the Lingayat vote bank which serves as the core strength for the BJP in Karnataka.
Sources said the BJP was planning to field Shettar from Belagavi Parliamentary seat and replace sitting MP Mangala Angadi, who appears to be weak this time.
With Shettar back in fold, BJP has sent a strong signal to the Lingayat community.