Hubballi: Former Karnataka chief minister Jagadish Shettar on Saturday announced his resignation from the Bharatiya Janata Party after he was denied a ticket for the May 10 state assembly election.
The 67-year-old leader said he would also resign from the assembly.
However, Shettar, who was the leader of the opposition when the Congress was in power in the state, said he would contest the poll for sure.
"I have decided to resign from the legislative assembly," a visibly upset Shettar told reporters.
He added that he has sought an appointment with the Speaker Vishveshwar Hegde Kageri, who is at Sirsi, and tender his resignation.
"With a heavy heart I will resign from the party. I am the one who has built and raised this party. They (some party leaders) created a situation for me to resign from the party," Shettar said.
Recalls his contribution to BJP
Recalling his contribution to the BJP and the key posts, including that of assembly speaker, he held in the state, Shettar said, "They (party leaders) have not understood Jagadish Shettar yet, for the way they humiliated me." "I am upset over the way they ignored me, which made me think I should not sit quiet and I must challenge them. In view of that I had been saying that I will contest in this election," he said.
The Lingayat leader also alleged that there was a systematic conspiracy against him and added that he was never an indurate person but the party forced him to become one.
The six-time MLA made the announcement soon after his meeting with Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, and Union Ministers Pralhad Joshi and Dharmendra Pradhan failed.
The trio reached his house on Saturday night after he rebelled against the BJP's decision of not fielding him from the Hubli-Dharwad central constituency.
Was asked to not contest by party
According to Shettar, the party high command had asked him not to contest the assembly election to make way for young people. However, he said he will contest the election come what may.
Earlier in the day, Shettar said that if he is denied ticket then it will have a bearing on 20 to 25 assembly seats in north Karnataka, apart from the state.
This is the second major blow to the BJP. Just a day ago, former deputy chief minister Laxman Savadi resigned from the party and joined the Congress.
Savadi who was aspiring to contest from Athani constituency was upset over BJP giving ticket to Mahesh Kumathalli, who was previously with Congress but defected along with 17 others in favour of the BJP to bring down the coalition government of the Congress and the JD(S), led by H D Kumaraswamy in 2019.