Karnataka

Former BJP Minister Asnotikar joins JD(S)

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Former BJP Minister Anand Asnotikar joined Janata Dal (Secular) on Monday, ahead of the upcoming Assembly elections.

He joined the party, along with his followers, in the presence of JD(S) supremo H.D. Deve Gowda and State president H.D. Kumaraswamy. He said he had quit BJP after he and his family faced “painful experiences” in his home district Uttara Kannada. He also expressed unhappiness at the communal incidents in the region.

Mr. Asnotikar was elected on Congress ticket in 2008 from Karwar, but resigned from the party and the Assembly to join the then ruling BJP. He became Minister for Fisheries, Science and Technology in the Cabinet. Mr. Asnotikar won the subsequent bypolls from Karwar on BJP ticket, but lost during the 2013 Assembly polls.

Some moving away?

Meanwhile, there are rumours of some JD(S) legislators moving to the BJP and Congress as poll dates near.

According to sources, legislators who have been approached by the national parties include Manappa Vajjal (Lingsugur), Shivaraj Patil (Raichur), Mallikarjun Khuba (Basavakalyan), Pilla Munishamappa (Devanahalli), Narayana Gowda (Krishnarajpet), Appaji Gowda (Bhadravati), S.R. Srinivas (Gubbi), H.S. Shivashankar (Harihar), and K. Srinivasamurthy (Nelamangala).

While the BJP has enlisted C.P. Yogeshwar to bring all fence sitters to the party, the Congress has Zameer Ahmed and N. Chaluvarayaswamy to do it for them.

Meanwhile, Energy Minister D.K. Shivakumar recently met rebel JD(S) legislator from Pulakeshinagar constituency Akhanda Srinivasamurthy. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, during a recent visit to Kodagu district, met senior JD(S) leader M.C. Nanaiah. Though Mr. Siddaramaiah clarified that they did not discuss politics, it has triggered speculation.

Speculations are rife that Mr. Vajjal and Dr. Patil will join the BJP after Makara Sankranti. On being asked about this, and unperturbed Mr. Kumaraswamy said: “If they have made up their mind, the party will not hold them back. The party has found alternatives.”

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 8:57:14 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/former-bjp-minister-asnotikar-joins-jds/article22445087.ece

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