Shankar backs BJP in morning, joins Cong later

Shankar backs BJP in morning, joins Cong later

In an unexpected development, Karnataka Prajnavantha Janatha Paksha (KPJP) legislator

R Shankar joined the Congress camp on Wednesday evening after having extended support to the BJP the same day in the morning.

Shankar, a former deputy mayor of Bengaluru, defeated Speaker K B Koliwad of the Congress in Ranebennur constituency in Haveri district.

Shankar, who belongs to the Kuruba community and is said to be close to senior BJP leader KS Eshwarappa, attended the BJP Legislature party meeting on Wednesday morning. He officially consented to the party’s state president B S Yeddyurappa’s nomination as the party’s legislature party leader. Shankar even accompanied the BJP leaders to Raj Bhavan to meet the governor.

On Wednesday evening, however, Shankar switched sides and joined the Congress camp, extending support to the Congress-JD(S) combine.

Upset over this development, Union Human Resource Development Minister and BJP election in-charge for Karnataka Prakash Javadekar pulled up Eshwarappa on Shankar switching sides.

Shankar, orginally a Congressman, had joined the BJP ahead of the 2008 Assembly elections and had unsuccessfully contested against Congress veteran K J George from the Sarvagnanagar seat in Bengaluru. Later, Shankar had quit the BJP and shifted his political activities to Ranebennur.