Bengaluru, November 14: After the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) declared 13 of the 17 Congress and JD-S turncoats as candidates for by-elections to 15 seats in Karnataka, cracked appeared in the saffron party as many felt "ignored". Raju Kage, a four-time BJP MLA, joined the Congress soon after the BJP declared names of 13 newcomers as candidates for bypolls. Kage had lost Kagwad seat to then Congress MLA Srimanth Patil in the 2018 assembly elections. Karnataka By-Elections 2019: Why Bypolls to 15 Seats Matter For BJP.
This time, Patil is fielded by the BJP from Kagwad. Upset Kage then joined the Congress. "I joined Congress today. There is no condition for my joining. I worked hard for the BJP, won four times but got no cabinet berth. That's why I left," he said. Sharath, the son of BJP MP Bache Gowda, filed his nomination from Hoskote seat as an independent. The BJP announced candidature of MTB Nagaraj, one of the 16 disqualified MLAs who have been allowed to contest bypolls by the Supreme Court. Karnataka By-Elections 2019 to Go As per Schedule.
Former Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy has said that the Janata Dal (Secular) will support Sharath if he needed it. Earlier today, Chief Minister and BJP leader BS Yediyurappa welcomed the 16 ex-MLAs into the BJP fold, handing over a party flag and promising a bright future ahead. "All our BJP workers will work day and night. The 15 MLAs who are going to contest the bypolls are going to win 100 percent," Yediyurappa said.
Except Roshan Baig, the other ex-MLAs who joined the BJP included Ramesh Jarkiholi, Mahesh Kumtahalli, Anand Singh, Shrimanth Patil, Pratap Gouda Patil, B.C. Patil, Shivaram Hebbar, S.T. Somshekar, Byrati Basavaraju, Muniratna K. Sudhakar, A.H. Vishwanath, Narayana Gowda and K. Gopalaiah, R. Shankar and MBT Nagaraj. The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld their disqualification, but allowed them to contest the December bypolls.
Prior to a floor test, which resulted in the collapse of the 14-month-old Congress-JD-S government in Karnataka in July, former Speaker Ramesh Kumar disqualified 14 rebel MLAs of the Congress and three of the JD(S).