3 more BJP legislators join KJP
The State BJP on Thursday witnessed further desertions with three BJP legislators quitting the party and announcing their decision to contest on KJP tickets in the May 5 Assembly polls.
Channagiri MLA Madal Virupakshappa, Jagalur MLA S V Ramachandra and MLC Shivaraj Sajjan submitted their resignation letters to Assembly Speaker K G Bopaiah and Council chairman D H Shankaramurthy, respectively.
The resignation of Virupakshappa and Sajjan were accepted with immediate effect, secretariat sources said. Ramachandra had faxed his resignation letter to the Speaker’s office and it is yet to be accepted, the sources added.
Speaking to mediapersons in Davangere, he took this decision bowing to the pressure from his supporters, fans, friends in the interests of his political career. He said he would join KJP officially at the function to be held at Bangalore on April 7 in the presence of B S Yeddyurappa and leaders from other parties defected to KJP.
Virupakshappa and Ramachandra would be contesting from their respective constituencies on KJP tickets and Sajjan from Bydagi Assembly constituency. All the three are followers of KJP president B S Yeddyurappa.
In all, as many as 16 BJP MLAs and three MLCs have resigned their Assembly/Council membership to join the KJP since January. Two more BJP MLAs, C P Yogeeshwara and Shankaralinge Gowda, have resigned anticipating Congress tickets.
More MLAs to follow
That’s not all. Two more BJP legislators, including former minister Raju Gowda and Tourism Minister Anand Singh, said they too would be quitting the party soon.
Gowda had resigned as Small Scale Industries minister in anticipation of contesting from his home constituency of Shorapur on a Congress ticket.
However, while waiting for a Congress ticket, he had retained his Assembly membership. It is said the Congress high command is now not keen on giving Gowda a ticket, prompting the former minister to look towards the JD(S). Gowda will join the JD(S) on Friday in the presence of party State president H D Kumaraswamy.
In Bellary, Minister Anand Singh said he would quit the BJP shortly.
Singh, who was elected from the Vijayanagar constituency, is lobbying hard for a Congress ticket from the same constituency. Sources close to Singh said he would contest as an independent in case the Congress denies him a ticket.
At a press conference here, BJP general secretary Raghunath Rao Malkapure said those who had quit the BJP were “jumping horses” and their exit made no difference to the party.