In the wake of rumours about him joining Congress party, former Textile Minister and BJP leader Shankar Patil Munenakoppa on Monday clarified that for the time being he was neither joining Congress nor contemplating contesting the next Lok Sabha election.
He however expressed his dismay over the developments within BJP and said that he would convey his next decision after January.
Addressing a press conference called specifically to clear the air about his possible defection in Hubballi on Monday, Mr. Munenakoppa categorically staged that till date, none of the Congress leaders including AICC president Mallikarjun Kharge, KPCC President D.K. Shivakumar and ex-CM Jagadish Shettar had contacted him in this regard.
He clarified that he had not participated in the meetings of BJP because of personal reasons. “It is true that there are differences within the State BJP, which has led to leaders like Shettar and others leaving the party. Union Minister Pralhad Joshi has a big responsibility on him. In a district where BJP had strong base, senior leaders are leaving the party. Today I spoke to Mr. Joshi and conveyed my feelings about the developments within the party. He has admitted the past mistakes and assured that they would not reccur,” Mr. Munenakoppa said.
Mr. Munenakoppa remembered the late BJP leader H.N. Ananthkumar and said that his absence was strongly been felt. He also appealed to mediapersons not to heed to the rumours about him joining BJP and said that if any such development were to happen, he would on his own disclose it to the media. “I will come before you by January end,” he said.
To a query, he clarified that he was not upset with BJP but with the BJP leaders in the State. However, he had to come before the media as district-in-charge Minister of Dharwad and former Minister Vinay Kulkarni had taken his name while answering queries about BJP leaders joining the party.
The former Minister also clarified that Jagadish Shettar had not even once invited him to join Congress. However till November I would not be participating in party activities because of personal reasons and have conveyed the same to the party leaders, he said.
On BJP’s failure to elect the Leader of the Opposition, he said that he was, like other party workers , pained by the delay in the decision. To a query, he said that if the party’s senior leaders gave him the responsibility, then he would make efforts to bring back Mr. Shettar.