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Karnataka : BJP leader Laxman Savadi all set to join Cong, to contest from Athani


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Bengaluru: Disgruntled BJP leader and former Deputy Chief Minister Laxman Savadi is all set to join Congress party after the saffron party denied him ticket to contest from Athani in May 10 assembly election in Karnataka.

“He is resigning (from primary membership of the BJP) at 4 pm, and joining the party (Congress) at 4.30 pm. He is now our family member,” Karnataka Congress President DK Shivakumar told reporters here.

Before making this announcement, Savadi met top Congress leaders Randeep Singh Surjewala, Shivakumar and Siddaramaiah at latter’s residence, and held discussions on the matter.

Soon after the meeting, Savadi said he is joining the Congress without laying any conditions. “I held a long discussion with (Randeep Singh) Surjewala, DK Shivakumar and Siddaramaiah. I haven’t put any conditions. I will contest from Athani constituency,” he said.

“Secondly, after the party comes to power I want those developmental works to be taken up that have come to a halt. I have asked this much. They have agreed. Apart from this I haven’t put any conditions. I haven’t asked for a ticket for my son; my wife; and my brother,” he said.

Savadi has been nursing a grudge over BJP’s choice of Mahesh Kumatahalli as the official candidate from Athani seat. The BJP candidate had defeated Savadi in 2018 from Athani on a Congress ticket.

After a year, Kumatahalli, along with other MLAs including Ramesh Jarkiholi, defected from the Congress and brought down the JDS-Congress coalition government led by HD Kumaraswamy.

For this role, the BJP rewarded Kumatahalli a ticket, overlooking Savadi for the May 10 assembly election.

Savadi was one blue-eyed boy of BS Yediyurappa, and one of the most senior Lingayat leaders in the state.

Meanwhile, Union Minister Pralhad Joshi said the party has advised Savadi not to join Congress because it is a “use and throw” party.

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