Film actor Pooja Gandhi formally joined the BSR Congress at the party office here on Sunday.

B. Sriramulu, MLA and founder of the party, welcomed her into the party fold.

BSR Congress is the third political party Ms. Gandhi is joining in over a year. Ms. Gandhi entered politics by joining the Janata Dal (S) in January 2012. However, after a few months, she quit that party and joined the Karnataka Janata Paksha (KJP) headed by the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa. And now, she has switched loyalty again, this time in favour of the BSR Congress.

Ms. Gandhi told journalists here that she quit the KJP as she was sidelined and was denied the party ticket to contest the Assembly elections.

‘Sidelined’

“I didn’t join politics because I’m a celebrity. I want to do some service to society using the political platform. I don’t want to deliberate on the reasons why I quit the JD(S) and joined the KJP…. I expressed by desire to contest elections on the KJP ticket. Was it wrong? After this, I was sidelined in the party and not asked to be part of any public meetings. Pained by KJP leaders’ attitude towards me, I thought it is better to quit the party,” she said.

She said Mr. Sriramulu had assured her that she would be given a ticket to contest the Assembly election from a north Karnataka constituency.

Mr. Sriramulu said Ms. Gandhi’s entry to the BSR Congress would help further strengthen the party in the run-up to the elections.

Bhujendra and Mohammed Salim, former KJP leaders; Halemane Shivananjappa, president of the Tumkur Milk Producers’ Union, and Mysoorappa, former BJP leader from Tumkur, were among those who joined BSR Congress on Sunday.

Mr. Sriramulu announced that Mr. Bhujendra would be made the party’s general secretary and Mr. Salim would be made its vice-president.

Film actor Rakshita, J. Shanta, MP, and S.J.V. Mahipal, State unit vice-president of the party, were present.

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