A senior BJP leader in Karnataka is expected to join Congress after he was seen meeting with Congress leaders of the state today, following BJP’s announcement of its candidates for the May 10 elections.
Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) chief DK Shivakumar confirmed that Savadi will join the Congress on Friday, April 14 as per media reports. He added that other BJP leaders will also jump ship in the coming days.
After BJP dropped him as a candidate for the Karnataka Assembly Elections, former Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister Laxman Savadi met with state Congress chief DK Shivakumar and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah in Bengaluru this morning at Siddaramaiah's home.
Sources say that Congress is expected to field Savadi, whose exit might be a setback for the BJP. Three times MLA, Savadi is one of the BJP's senior-most Lingayat leaders in Karnataka next to former Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa.
"He is a seasoned, very senior leader. It was a social meeting. We will let you know," Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said about the meeting as per media reports.
Savadi, 63, quit BJP on Wednesday, declared that he had "made a strong decision" and had started working on it, without indulging in his talks with the Congress.
"I have made my decision. I am not one to go around with a begging bowl. I am a self-respecting politician. I am not acting under anyone's influence," Savadi told reporters.
Earlier this week, Shivakumar had cautiously treaded water saying, "He is neither in touch with me nor he has spoken with me."
Savadi had lost his Athani constituency during the 2018 elections to the Congress candidate, Mahesh Kumathahalli.
In 2019, when mass defectors from the Congress-Janata Dal coalition reduced the government to 101 seats, whilst the BJP retained 105 and formed the government, Savadi was rewarded for his role with the post of Deputy Chief Minister, despite being in a huge controversy in 2012 after he was caught watching porn in the assembly.
Interestingly, Mahesh Kumathahalli, whom Savadi had lost to in 2018 was among these defectors and is the BJP candidate from Athani this time.