Denied BJP ticket, former Dy CM set to join Congress in Karnataka
Bengaluru: Former Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister Laxman Savadi who announced his decision to resign from the primary membership of the BJP after being denied a ticket to contest in the May 10 Assembly elections, on Friday decided to join the Congress.
His decision came after a meeting with Karnataka Congress chief D K Shivakumar, Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Siddaramaiah and Congress general secretary and party in-charge of Karnataka Randeep Singh Surjewala.
“Our meeting with Savadi took place in a cordial manner. We are aware of his dignity and position. He has agreed to become a member of our (Congress) family of his own volition. He is coming with us after accepting the party’s ideology and leadership,” Shivakumar, who was flanked by Savadi and Siddaramaiah, told reporters.
Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said he was “saddened” by Savadi’s decision to part ways with the BJP and join the Congress.
“…I’m feeling very sad, we shared a close bond. Sometimes such political situations arise,” Bommai said. “He might have found his political future in the Congress. We will do our job in our party.”
Savadi said he had been loyal to the BJP and helped the party candidates win in other parts of the state as well but it did not live up to its promise of fielding him in the 2023 Assembly election from Athani.
On his decision to join the Congress, Savadi, a three-time MLA from Athani in Belagavi district, said he had only demanded a ticket to contest the elections, besides the completion of some irrigation projects in his constituency which have been pending for many years — in the event of the Congress coming to power.
Ignoring Savadi’s request, the BJP had earlier this week given the Athani ticket to sitting MLA Mahesh Kumathalli. Savadi lost in the 2018 elections to Kumathalli, who was then in the Congress.
Kumathalli was among the group of defectors who helped the BJP bring down the Congress-JD(S) coalition and form its government under the leadership of B S Yediyurappa in 2019. Kumathalli later joined the BJP and successfully contested in the Athani by-election on the party ticket.
Attacking the BJP, Savadi said he had not demanded from the ruling party that he be made deputy chief minister but was removed from the position without being informed, which he perceived as an insult.
“After losing the election (in 2018), I was made an MLC and then the deputy chief minister. But later they removed me. Why did they make me a minister and then remove me?” he asked.
Replying to a question, he said the BJP should answer why he was denied a ticket to contest in the May 10 elections.
Savadi is slated to resign as MLC and formally join the Congress later today.
“I am going to resign from the Legislative Council and also from the BJP primary membership. Later, I will officially join the Congress,” he added.