Chandrashekar Patil, Kannada writer, has officially joined the Karnataka Janata Paksha (KJP), led by the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa.
It was known that Prof. Patil (better known as Champa) was an “adviser” to the party for sometime now, but his decision to join it has surprised many in literary and progressive circles.
Prof. Patil had identified himself with the Praja Pragati Ranga (PPR), an alternative political forum of peasants, Dalits and other groups. He participated in a rally organised by them on Wednesday. He also served as president of the Kannada Sahitya Parishat and chairman of the Kannada Development Authority.
Talking to The Hindu, Prof. Patil said: “It was a conscious and deliberate decision [to join KJP].” He said the KJP fitted his image of “a regional party which was secular in its outlook and anti-communal.”
Defending his decision, Prof. Patil said there was need for a strong regional party to protect the interests of language and culture of the State.
However, Prof. Patil said he would not contest the elections but “will campaign for candidates in some key constituencies.”
“I am an idealist and also a realist. Developments in recent years proved that only a strong regional party can do justice to the State,” he said.