Asnotikar joins JD(S), Ibrahim calls on Deve Gowda

Asnotikar joins JD(S), Ibrahim calls on Deve Gowda

Former prime minister HD Deve Gowda's residence at Padmanabhanagar in Bengaluru was a beehive of political activity on Monday.

In the morning, former minister Anand Asnotikar quit the BJP and officially joined the JD(S) along with his supporters in the presence of Gowda's son and state party president HD Kumaraswamy.

Later in the day, Congress MLC and former Union Minister CM Ibrahim called on Gowda and Kumaraswamy and held discussions with them for nearly 45 minutes. The meeting led to speculation in political circles that Ibrahim may quit the Congress and join the JD(S) ahead of the Assembly polls.

Gowda, afterall, is Ibrahim's mentor and had made him Union Civil Aviation minister during his tenure as prime minister.

Besides, the undivided Janata Dal had stormed to power in the state in 1994 when Ibrahim led the party as the state president.

Speaking to reporters, Asnotikar said he was joining the JD(S) for the welfare of Karwar Assembly constituency in Uttara Kannada district, from where he plans to contest.

Sources said Asnotikar was unhappy with the BJP leadership for sidelining him. Only a regional party like the JD(S) can bring development to border areas like Karwar, he said.

Asnotikar, who was elected on Congress ticket in 2008 from Karwar, had resigned from the party and the Assembly to switch loyalty to the then ruling BJP.

He was made minister for Fisheries, Science and Technology. He contested unsuccessfully from Karwar in the 2013 polls on a BJP ticket.

Ibrahim said he had met Gowda and Kumaraswamy to convey his "Sankranti greetings" and he had no intention of joining the JD(S).

Ibrahim said it was for the Congress high command to decide whether to have an electoral alliance with the JD(S).

Ibrahim was a close associate of  Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, but later fell out with him.

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