Karnataka Lok Sabha Election 2024: How Former BJP Turncoats ST Somashekhar & Shivaram Hebbar Are Rallying Behind Congress

Karnataka Lok Sabha Election 2024: How Former BJP Turncoats ST Somashekhar & Shivaram Hebbar Are Rallying Behind Congress

Karnataka PCC chief and deputy CM DK Shivakumar said BJP and JD(S) leaders and workers are quietly working for Congress.

Rajashekara SUpdated: Friday, April 12, 2024, 11:39 AM IST
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Turncoats who had helped it to form the government in Karnataka in 2019 have turned their back on BJP and backed Congress. BJP MLAs, former minister for cooperation ST Somashekhar and former minister for labour Shivaram Hebbar, have been campaigning for Congress in Bengaluru North and Uttara Kannada. They were among a dozen Congress and JD(S) MLAs who resigned in July 2019 to topple Congress-JD(S) government headed by HD Kumaraswamy.

Karnataka PCC chief and deputy CM DK Shivakumar said BJP and JD(S) leaders and workers are quietly working for Congress. "Several have expressed support (to the Congress)," he said.

Somashekhar, a 3-term MLA from Yeshwanthpur in Bengaluru has been openly campaigning for Congress candidate MV Rajeev Gowda, as the party nominated Union minister Shobha Karnadalaje from Bengaluru North. He voted for Congress nominee in the Rajya Sabha poll in March by violating BJP whip. It is said Somashekhar, a former Congressman, was keen on returning to his roots and contesting from Bengaluru North. But that didn't work out as Congress wanted him to work for the party by being in the BJP.

In Uttara Kannada, where former assembly speaker Vishveshwara Hegde Kageri is contesting as a BJP candidate is facing a resistance from within. Sitting member and former Union minister Anantkumar Hegde has remained aloof and refused to meet Kageri leave alone campaign for him. And, Hebbar, sitting MLA from Yellapur seat too has remained aloof and is quietly working for Congress candidate Anajali Nimbalkar, niece of former Maharashtra CM Ashok Chavan. Citing health issues, Hebbar stayed away from voting in the RS poll last month. On Thursday, Vivek Hebbar, son of Shivaram Hebbar joined Congress.

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