Belagavi: Former Chief Minister and Congress party’s star campaigner Jagadish Shettar criticized the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and said that the party is under the clutches of certain people who are hallucinating about their victory in the upcoming state elections, irrespective of the decisions they make.
Shettar further added that Karnataka is not Gujarat, and Hubballi is not Ahmedabad, indicating that the BJP’s strategies that may have worked in other states will not work in Karnataka.
Addressing a gathering in Belagavi seeking support for Congress party’s candidate Asif Sait, Shettar expressed his disappointment with the present BJP, stating that it is deviating from its ideology and principles.
He went on to say that he was humiliated in the party, and a few people tried to end his political career, fearing he might become a contender for the Chief Minister’s seat if elected for the seventh time in a row. Despite making it clear that he did not aspire for any ministerial position and would remain as an MLA, the party did not give him a ticket.
Shettar, narrating the incident that led to his departure from the BJP, said, “I faced all the humiliation in the party and tolerated ill-treatment. When the ticket was denied, my self-respect was harmed, and I said enough is enough and quit the party to join the Congress.”
Bommai knocked on the doors of Congress
Shettar also took a dig at Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, who had criticized him for joining the Congress. He stated that Bommai himself had tried to join the Congress when the BJP split due to the exit of BS Yediyurappa and B Sriramulu. However, the talks did not progress as the Congress party did not give him a ticket for the constituency he was aspiring for.
Moreover, Shettar claimed that the Lingayat community leaders are being sidelined in the BJP, and a systematic conspiracy has been hatched to ignore senior leaders. He pointed out that Pralhad Joshi, a Brahmin, was made a cabinet minister in the Modi government, while the late Suresh Angadi, a Lingayat leader, was only made a minister of state. Shettar questioned why Angadi was not given a cabinet minister post despite being capable and alleged that Joshi got preference because of his caste.
Shettar further stated that Lingayat MP from Bidar, Bhagavant Khuba, was given only a minister of state post in the cabinet, while Shobha Karandlaje, a Vokkaliga, and Narayan Swami, a Dalit, were also given the same post. However, Joshi, a Brahmin, was given the coveted cabinet ministership.
Shettar criticized the present BJP and its treatment of senior leaders, particularly from the Lingayat community, and called on the people to understand the preferences of the BJP.
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