Former Karnataka minister and senior Congress leader Kumar Bangarappa announced on Friday that he will join the BJP. The announcement comes two weeks after he had hinted that he might switch loyalties.
When asked how he could join BJP, a party that he had criticised heavily in the past, he said, "I know that I have spoken against the BJP, BS Yeddyurappa and Narendra Modi on several occasions in the past. But the current scenario in the Congress is not conducive for me to help people and develop the state."
Bangarappa, son of former Chief Minister Sarekoppa Bangarappa, said that his decision was for the “sake of his land and his people”. His brother Madhu Bangarappa is a member of the JD (S).
Sarekoppa Bangarappa has been a member of the Congress, Samajwadi Party and the BJP.
Kumar BangarappaYes, there were corruption allegations against Yeddyurappa, but now the court has acquitted him. Also, I do not see any development that will happen in the state, and hence, I have chosen to align with the BJP for the sake of my land and people.
On 16 February, he had told reporters that his followers had asked him to join BJP and that G Parameshwara had failed to strengthen the party. He also said that although he had informed Congress President Sonia Gandhi, no action was taken to rectify the party.
Bangarappa is the second high-profile leader to leave the Congress, ahead of the 2018 assembly polls. Few weeks ago, veteran leader and former Karnataka CM SM Krishna had quit the party.
SM Krishna had announced at the end of January that he was leaving the Congress after four decades of having worked with the party. Though speculation is rife that he would join the BJP, no formal announcement has been made by the former External Affairs Minister.