New Delhi: R Vasanth Kumar, Corporator from Bengaluru’s Sampangiram Nagar, who joined the BJP two days ago, on Thursday rejoined the Congress, alleging that he was taken by BJP leaders to Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa’s residence and made to join the party.
The development comes on a day bypolls are being held on 15 out of 17 constituencies in Karnataka. In July, 17 MLAs-14 from Congress and three from JD(S) rebelled against the HD Kumaraswamy-led Congress-JD(S) coalition government, triggering its fall and paving the way for the BJP to come back to power.
The MLAs were disqualified by then-speaker KR Ramesh Kumar, necessitating the bypolls.
Addressing the media, Vasanth Kumar said, “BJP leaders took me to the Chief Minister’s residence all of a sudden and made me join the party.”
He was accompanied by senior Karnataka Congress leaders Dinesh Gundu Rao and NA Haris.
Gundu Rao, too, addressed the press conference and said that the BJP poaching Congress leaders shows its lack of confidence in its own leaders.
The rebel MLAs had moved the Supreme Court in August, challenging their disqualification. Last month, in a major relief to them, the top court, while upholding their disqualification, ruled that they could contest the bypolls. The MLAs joined the BJP a day after the apex court’s verdict
Counting of votes will be done on November 9. The BJP, which has a slender majority in the House, needs to win six-seven seats to hold on to power in the state.