Estranged BJP MLA Somashekar holds meeting with Congress

07:28 PM Apr 05, 2024 | PTI |

Estranged BJP MLA S T Somashekar on Friday allegedly held a meeting of his supporters to back the Congress candidate for the 2024 polls from Bangalore North Lok Sabha segment M V Rajeev Gowda, eliciting sharp reactions from the saffron party.


Rajeev Gowda, Minister Krishna Byre Gowda and other Congress leaders are seen in the pictures of the purported meeting held by the MLA in the city, which was telecast by some news channels.

The MLA from Yeshwanthpur in the city had voted in favour of Congress citing ”conscience”, during the polls to four seats of Rajya Sabha from Karnataka on February 27, which had caused embarrassment to the BJP.

Union Minister Shobha Karandlaje is the BJP candidate from Bangalore North and Somashekar had recently expressed his displeasure about the choice.

Claiming that he has been insulted by the BJP and its candidate, as ”they don’t want him”, Somashekar said his supporters and people have asked him to cooperate with those who help for the development of the constituency.


BJP reacted strongly to Somashekar’s move to hold the meeting.

”S T Somashekar has kept his foot outside the BJP. He has also voted against the party in the Rajya Sabha polls. So this question does not arise at all. He cannot be called our party legislator now,” senior BJP leader and Leader of Opposition in the Assembly R Ashoka told reporters, when asked about the meeting with Congress leaders.

When asked why the party is not expelling him, he said, ”the state (unit) has no powers to expel an MLA, only central leaders have the powers. Let the election be over, the central leaders will decide what they have to do.” State BJP President B Y Vijayendra said, ”’Vinash Kale Viprit Buddhi’…We (party) will see about it in the days to come. He has committed the biggest mistake in his political life and he will pay for it.” Somashekar has already been issued a notice by the party for violating the whip in the recent Rajya Sabha polls, to which he has given a 170-page reply.

Speaking to reporters about the meeting, Somashekar said, ”I had called a meeting of all those who are close to me in the constituency and have given them the information regarding the developments so far…The Lok Sabha candidate has been announced, the candidate has come to my constituency seven to eight times, till now she has neither approached me nor sought my support. When not asked, what should I do?” Stating that he has spoken to all concerned in the constituency and none have opposed him, he said, ”My self esteem has been hurt….They have asked me to cooperate with those who help the constituency.” Asked about the possibility of BJP serving him another notice, Somashekar said, ”Let them give whatever they want, let them do whatever they want.” On whether he will officially join the Congress, he said, ”Why should I join? There is no necessity for me to join.” ”The BJP doesn’t want me. The BJP candidate didn’t approach me, what should I do? I have been insulted. Should we welcome someone, who was told — go back, go back — in Udupi-Chikmagalur,” he added.

Karandlaje currently represents Udupi-Chikmagalur candidate, and there was a ‘Shobha go back’ campaign against her in the segment, which is said to be one among the primary reasons for her being shifted to Bangalore North.

Somashekhar was earlier in the Congress. He was among 17 Congress-JD(S) legislators, who had quit from their parties, which ultimately led to the collapse of the then H D Kumaraswamy-led coalition government in July, 2019.

He had subsequently won the bypoll on BJP ticket and served as Minister in the previous government headed by the party.


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