Those who accept our ideology can join Congress: Chief Minister Siddaramaiah

07:00 PM Aug 28, 2023 | PTI |

Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Monday said that those leaders who agree with the ideology of Congress will be inducted into the party.


His statement came amid speculations of ‘Ghar Wapsi’ (homecoming) of some BJP legislators and senior party functionaries ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

”Not only those who had quit our party and want to return, but also everyone who wants to join our party accepting our policy and programmes are welcome,” Siddaramaiah told reporters here.

Some legislators and leaders belonging to Congress and the JD(S), especially those MLAs who had quit the party in 2019 resulting in the fall of the then coalition government, have been apparently hobnobbing with the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar.

Prominent among them are BJP MLAs and former ministers S T Somashekar and Arabail Shivaram Hebbar. Recently, former BJP MLA M P Renukacharya, a loyalist of former CM B S Yediyurappa, met Siddaramaiah while another former MP and MLA Ayanur Manjunath who quit BJP and joined JD(S) ahead of the assembly election, met Deputy Chief Minister Shivakumar.


Speculations are rife that the Congress has launched ‘Operation Hasta’ (Operation Palm) in retaliation to the BJP’s ‘Operation Lotus’ to bring down the coalition governments. However, the Congress denied any such operation is going on.

Former chief minister Jagadish Shettar, who quit the BJP and joined Congress ahead of the assembly election after being denied a ticket to contest the election, said the BJP today is becoming weak by the day and is declining fast.

”There is a migration from BJP to Congress. Even those who had joined the party recently are moving towards the Congress. There is a question of existence for the BJP now in the state. Many people will come from BJP to Congress. That number may be 20 or 30. If the floodgates are opened, there will be no stopping,” Shettar told reporters.

He claimed there is no such thing as ‘Operation Hasta’ going on in the state but discontent in the BJP in absence of leadership. ”People are voluntarily coming to our party. A political polarisation in favour of Congress is happening,” Shettar said.

As the Congress ordered inquiry into the public works carried out by the Bengaluru municipal corporation, and various important government departments including the PWD, Health, Rural Development and Panchayat Raj and Irrigation Department, some BJP leaders alleged that the ruling Congress was using these probes as a weapon to harass them.

However, Deputy Chief Minister Shivakumar said the probe was necessary because large-scale irregularities have been reported. He charged that the ministers in the previous government who were caught in the scam gave themselves a clean chit.

Speaking to reporters in Mandya, Agriculture Minister N Chaluvarayaswamy said there is no need for the Congress to hatch ‘Operation Hasta’.

”We do not need ‘Operation Hasta’. We are 136. If they want to join, then we will welcome them,” the minister said.


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