Hubballi (Karnataka) [India]: Congress leader Jagadish Shettar, who is a candidate from Karnataka’s Hubli-Dharwad-Central constituency, on Wednesday said he takes criticism from BS Yediyurappa as his blessing in this election, adding that the wishes of the BJP’s leader would convert into success for him.
“Amit Shah came here and attacked me. Many from BJP have joined Congress recently but they are targeting me only. I take criticism from BS Yediyurappa as his blessing in this election…His wish for me (to lose) will convert into success for me,” said Jagadish Shettar. BJP leader BS Yediyurappa’s said that Jagadish, who joined Congress recently, “will lose elections”.
Challenging Shettar to win on a Congress ticket in the region, Yediyurappa said at a meeting in Hubballi, “Jagadish Shettar has backstabbed the BJP and the members of the party. With all his selfishness, he left the party and joined the Congress. How can this happen? We should make sure he will be defeated here in Hubballi. I can write with my blood that he will lose this election on a Congress ticket.”
Earlier, after his meeting with Lingayat leaders in Hubbali, former CM BS Yediyurappa said “…All our important Lingayat leaders attended. I told them that Jagadish Shettar should not win. For that, we must work day & night. All of them accepted that…”
Jagadish Shettar said that he is contesting from the constituency for the 7th time and the people of the area were hurt by the way BJP treated him.
“In the last elections, I won with the support of the people of this constituency. I am now contesting for the 7th time and the kind of support I am seeing shows that even the people of this area were hurt by the way BJP treated me,” said Shettar.
Shettar joined the Congress party, a day after quitting the BJP after being denied a ticket for the May 10 assembly polls in the state.
Shettar became the second senior leader from the Lingayat community to leave the ruling BJP and join Congress in less than a week. Earlier, former Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister Laxman Savadi joined the Congress.
Earlier on April 22, Shettar said that the BJP had damaged his self-respect and that people of the state are intelligent enough not to support such a party.
Speaking to media, Shettar said, “Many Lingayat leaders left BJP. Hurting my self-respect means hurting the people of the region, which will affect the vote bank of the BJP. The people of the state are wise enough not to cast their vote for BJP.”
“Byadagi in Haveri district is not in my constituency. There are so many Congress candidates who are asking me to campaign in their constituencies. BJP senior leaders of the Lingayat community have said that they are going to join the Congress and hundreds of followers within one or two days will also join,” he said.
BJP has meanwhile fielded Mahesh Tenginkai against the Shettar for the seat in the upcoming polls.
The 224-seat Assembly polls are slated to take place in a single phase on May 10 and results will be declared on May 13.