Karnataka

Talk of political realignment picks up pace

KARNATAKA BENGALURU 22/09/2021 Siddaramaiah along with D K Shiva Kumar and S R Patil addressing the press conference in Bengaluru today.

KARNATAKA BENGALURU 22/09/2021 Siddaramaiah along with D K Shiva Kumar and S R Patil addressing the press conference in Bengaluru today.

With more than a year to go before the Assembly polls in the State, the talk of political realignment and defections has already picked up pace. While Congress leaders and BJP MLA Basanagouda Patil Yatnal have been speaking of defections from the ruling party to Congress, Ramesh Jarkiholi, who defected from Congress to BJP and was key in formation of the government in 2019, claimed on Tuesday that 16 Congress MLAs were in touch with him and he would “get them over to BJP if high command permits.”

Mr. Jarkiholi’s claim comes a day after KPCC president D.K. Shivakumar said several Ministers in the BJP government were calling Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah, hinting that they were ready to defect. Mr. Yatnal had said several “migrant” Ministers had already “booked their tickets” in the Congress.

“We were a team of 36 MLAs in the coalition government, but only 17 of us came to the BJP. There are 19 more in touch with me, of whom three are from JD(S) and 16 from Congress. I won’t touch any MLA from JD(S) as we have cordial relationship with H.D. Kumaraswamy, but if high command permits, I will get 16 Congress MLAs. The situation is going to drastically change a month ahead of elections,” Mr. Jarkiholi claimed, indicating a Uttar Pradesh-like political realignment ahead of Assembly polls in the State too.

‘BJP a sinking ship’

Reacting shortly after this, Mr. Siddaramaiah said BJP was a sinking ship and nobody will switch to BJP from Congress at this point of time. Mr. Shivakumar said it was not possible to reveal names of leaders who were in touch with Congress, adding that Mr. Yatnal knew the list and the media should ask him.

Senior Congress leader G. Parameshwara on Tuesday speaking to mediapersons in Tumakuru said several BJP MLAs, ministerial aspirants and even Ministers were dissatisfied and would likely join Congress ahead of the Assembly polls.

“After the ministry expansion, many who are unable to make it to the Cabinet will likely leave the party,” he said. Responding to a question, he said not just migrant Ministers but several BJP old-timers were also keen on switching sides.


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Printable version | May 22, 2022 8:35:30 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/talk-of-political-realignment-picks-up-pace/article38325880.ece