N. Mahesh, Kollegal MLA who was formerly with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) which expelled him over violating party diktat in 2019, joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday.
Mr. Mahesh, who has worked in the Bahujan movement for over 20 years, became an MLA for the first time from the BSP in 2018. However, the BSP expelled him in July 2019 when he, contrary to the party diktat, abstained from the trust vote of H.D. Kumaraswamy and remained Independent till now. “I have joined the BJP for the development of the country, trusting the leadership of Narendra Modi for the country and B.S. Yediyurappa in the State. I am also guided by the ideals of B.R. Ambedkar,” Mr. Mahesh said.
At the programme, Mr. Yediyurappa said his aim was to bring the party back to power with 130 to 140 seats in 2023 and Mr. Mahesh, a Dalit from Old Mysore region, had been a shot in the arm for the party. “Many leaders are joining our party accepting our ideology. We need to welcome more Dalit leaders,” he said.
Mr. Yediyurappa said Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai knows the background of Mr. Mahesh and expressed confidence that he would keep in mind that a senior Dalit leader had joined the party, suggesting a larger role for the leader in the government and the party.
Mr. Bommai, who later spoke at the event, said Mr. Mahesh joining the party would strengthen the organisation in Mysuru, Chamarajanagar, and Mandya districts.