Malikayya Guttedar joins Congress once more

He was in the BJP for the last six years; a week ago, his younger brother Nitin Guttedar joined the BJP

April 19, 2024 07:38 pm | Updated 07:39 pm IST - KALABURAGI

Six-time MLA and former BJP leader Malikayya Guttedar joining the Congress in Bengaluru on Friday. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Deputy Chief Minister D.K.Shivakumar and Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister Priyank Kharge are seen.

Six-time MLA and former BJP leader Malikayya Guttedar joining the Congress in Bengaluru on Friday. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Deputy Chief Minister D.K.Shivakumar and Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister Priyank Kharge are seen. | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

In a significant turn of events, the Afzalpur political landscape witnessed a remarkable shift as former minister and BJP leader Malikayya Guttedar joined the Congress on Friday.

The six-time MLA joined the grand-old party in presence of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Deputy Chief Minister D.K.Shivakumar and Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister Priyank Kharge at Bengaluru. This comes a week after his younger brother Nitin Guttedar joined BJP.

Following his anti-party stands, Mr. Guttedar was expelled from Congress for six years in March 2018. Later he joined BJP. The political turncoat, Mr. Guttedar has traversed a dynamic political path, transitioning from the Congress to Karnataka Congress Party (KCP), to Janata Dal (Secular), and again returning to Congress (2008-2018). He was in the BJP for the last six years (2018-2024), and is now back with the Congress party again.

He started his political career in the early 1980s and was legislator for four consecutive periods. Mr. Guttedar joined Congress and fought successfully in 1985 and 1989 Assembly elections and 1994 Assembly polls on Karnataka Congress Party ticket and 2004 Assembly elections on Janata Dal (Secular) ticket. Just before the 2008 Assembly elections, he returned to Congress and successfully contested the 2008 and 2013 elections. In 2014, he also wrote to the then AICC president Sonia Gandhi seeking a Cabinet berth for himself and also expressed his resentment over inducting MLAs who were facing charges – D.K Shivakumar and R. Roshan Baig, into the Cabinet.

Mr. Guttedar’s frustration with the Congress leadership had escalated to the point of no return when Mr. Priyank Kharge was inducted into the Cabinet led by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah in 2013, neglecting Mr. Guttedar’s seniority. He continued his tirade against the AICC president Mallikarjun Kharge and his son Priyank Kharge which eventually resulted in his [Mr. Guttedar] expulsion from Congress.

Mr. Guttedar was welcomed by BJP in 2018 and was appointed BJP State vice president. In 2019 Lok Sabha election, he campaigned aggressively against Mr. Mallikarjun Kharge. In the last Assembly elections, Mr. Guttedar contested on BJP ticket and was pushed to third position with 31,131 votes. His brother Nitin Guttedar who fought as an Independent secured 51,218 votes.

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