Ex-CM Jagadish Shettar quits BJP


Former Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, who was dissatisfied with being denied a ticket to run in the 10 May Karnataka Assembly elections, resigned as MLA on Sunday. He also launched an attack on the BJP, claiming individuals who had established the party were being expelled from their “own house.”
The 67-year-old six-time MLA, who had already announced his intention to leave the party, submitted his resignation shortly after. Karnataka BJP strongman B S Yediyurappa criticised the man for leaving the J P Nadda-led coalition and warned that people would not forgive him for his decision. Shettar, a prominent Lingayat politician from north Karnataka and a sitting MLA for Hubli-Dharwad Central, said that several individuals with personal agendas had plotted to exclude him from the current election. “Today those who are originally from the BJP are being thrown out from the party. Today I am going out from my own house. I have been driven out of my own house. This has hurt me deeply. Against this background, I have resigned from the legislature assembly,” Shettar told the media.
He said the party’s central leadership has not given any reason for not accommodating him.
“Was age factor a reason? No. Were there any health issues? I am in good health. Did I run any club or indulged in unlawful activities or am I a rowdy sheeter? Nothing. There was no CD (sex scandal),” the veteran leader said.
Recalling his contribution to the party, Shettar said he had worked with utmost integrity to build it for the past 30 years and the BJP too rewarded him position and respect. “Because of my work ,there is a party’s presence in the rural areas. Today the party has grown strong under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi”.
Asked about Yediyurappa’s statement that the party gave Shettar power and position but still he left the outfit. he sought to know why the former quit the BJP (more than a decade ago) and formed the Karnataka Janata Party. (Yediyurppa subsequently returned to BJP) “Yediyurappa too was given a good position. Why did he quit the BJP?” Shettar asked.
To a question whether he has made up his mind to join the Congress, he said, “I have not contacted or spoken personally to anyone yet.” He reiterated that he has not yet decided to join any party.
“What injustice have we done to Shettar?” Yediyurappa asked, noting that Shettar had served as the party’s state unit President, Leader of Opposition in the Assembly and Chief Minister. He said the people of his region would not pardon him.
Addressing the media, he said, the party’s central leadership has suggested that Shettar name a family member for the ticket, and also offered to make him a Rajya Sabha member and a Union Minister.
Yediyurappa said the party had not asked him to retire from politics.