BJP not to stop leaders who want to join Cong in K’taka

Bengaluru: The BJP’s Karnataka unit has been directed not to stop the party leaders who want to join the ruling Congress in the state.

The Congress leaders have been claiming that about 10 to 15 BJP leaders will join their party through ‘Operation Hast’ ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

Former Minister and BJP MLA S.T. Somashekar, Shivaram Hebbar, also a former minister and BJP MLA, are all set to join Congress party, according to sources.

A large number of supporters of Somashekar, who have joined the Congress, claimed that Somashekar joining the grand-old party is mere a formality.

Hebbar is upset with BJP leadership and he is also likely to join Congress soon, sources said. Both leaders had joined BJP in 2019 through ‘Operation Lotus’ from Congress.

Former minister V. Somanna, who lost assembly elections from Varuna against Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Chamarajanagar seats is said to be considering switching over to Congress. Somanna is an aspirant of State President’s post and he is said to be taking the decision once the party makes a decision in this regard.

In core committee meeting attended by former Chief Ministers B. S. Yediyurappa, Basasvaraja Bommai, D. V. Sadananda Gowda, former national general secretary C. T. Ravi and other senior leaders on Monday, it was decided not to stop the leaders who want to quit the saffron party.

The leaders said once the leadership is announced for the party, everything will fall in place. The BJP is cadre based party and need not fear if leaders decide to quit.

The leaders decided to appeal to the party high command to take a call on appointment of the Leader of the Opposition and for the post of State President.

With Yediyurappa coming to the thick of things again in the party, the workers are expecting a turnaround for them.