Special Correspondent

He joined the JD(S) on the eve of the 2004 elections

GULBARGA: Janata Dal (Secular) leader Vittal Herur has decided to quit the party and join the Congress.

Mr. Herur, who joined the Janata Dal (S) on the eve of the 2004 elections, announced his decision at a press conference here on Friday.

He will join the Congress on February 16 in the presence of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president M. Mallikarjun Kharge and the former Chief Minister N. Dharam Singh in Gulbarga.

Venue

Mr. Herur has chosen the same venue, Nutan Vidyalaya Grounds, for joining the Congress, where he joined the Janata Dal (S) in the presence of Mr. Siddaramaiah.

Blow

This will be a severe blow to the Janata Dal (S)in the ensuing Assembly elections, feel political observers.

In the 2004 elections, Mr. Herur helped the party win in at least four Assembly constituencies. He was a threat to the Congress even in its bastions such as Gurmitkal, where Mr. Kharge’s winning margin came down sharply in the 2004 elections.

Influence

Mr. Herur has considerable influence in the Kabbaliga community. This made the Janata Dal (S) persuade him to join the party before the 2004 elections and as a “gift” made him a member of the Upper House and appointed him Chief Whip in the Legislative Council.

Fall out

However, Mr. Herur fell out with the party high command and failed to get a re-nomination to the Upper House.

Since then he stayed away from party activities.

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