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S.M. Krishna to join BJP today

A file picture of S.M. Krishna.   | Photo Credit: Bhagya Prakash K.

Former Chief Minister of Karnataka S.M. Krishna will be joining the BJP in New Delhi in the presence of party chief Amit Shah on Wednesday, ending months of speculation about his political plans.

Mr. Krishna was expected to join the BJP two weeks ago but could not because of a bereavement in his family. “Even now he was busy with some personal issues, but State BJP chief B.S. Yeddyurappa requested him to give an early date, and also spoke to party president Amit Shah to expedite matters. Yeddyurappaji  wants Mr. Krishna to campaign for the BJP for the Nanjangud (reserved) and Gundulpet Assembly seats that are due at the end of March,” said a source close to the developments.

Mr. Krishna’s addition to the BJP’s ranks is being taken as a big coup by the party in its efforts to make a comeback in the sole southern State where the party has a large political presence.

Mr. Krishna is considered an influential leader of the Vokkaliga community which, along with the 19% Lingayat vote, is the second biggest dominant caste in the State. “Out of the 11 districts of Old Mysore area, Vokkaligas are considered dominant in 89 Assembly seats, out of a total of 224 seats in the Assembly. We are also counting on his appeal to urban voters in Bengaluru [with 28 seats in the Assembly], which prospered under his regime from 1999 to 2004,” said the source.

The BJP already has influence over the Lingayat community thanks to Mr. Yeddyurappa.

Sources declined to comment on what the quid pro quo to Mr. Krishna’s joining the BJP was, and dismissed speculation that either his daughter or son-in-law would be given a Rajya Sabha seat.

Mr. Krishna, who landed in New Delhi this afternoon, was asked by reporters whether he would be joining the BJP today and he replied, “Seems likely.”


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Printable version | Oct 18, 2021 7:36:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/sm-krishna-to-join-bjp/article17575577.ece

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