Congress state unit President DK Shivakumar on Monday said that several BJP and JD(S) leaders joining the Congress ahead of the May 10 Assembly polls in Karnataka is an evidence to prove that public sentiment is in favour of the party and it will come to power.
He was speaking after inducting Kudligi BJP MLA NY Gopalakrishna, who had resigned as legislator on Friday, into the party, at KPCC office here.
With the possibility of Gopalakrishna being fielded as a candidate from Molakalmuru constituency, a group of Congress workers picketed outside the KPCC office, demanding the ticket to party leader Yogesh Babu.
“Several BJP and JD(S) leaders are knocking our door, this is evidence to show that the voice of the people of the state is in favour of the Congress and that our march is on a right track, towards power,” Shivakumar said.
Speaking to reporters here, he noted Gopalakrishna resigned as BJP MLA and joined the Congress; similarly JD(S) MLA K M Shivalinge Gowda too has resigned and will be joining the party soon.
BJP and JD(S) legislators joining the Congress voluntarily is a “big evidence” that people have decided for a change, after the “failure of the double engine government”, the KPCC chief further said.
“There is a big list of people wanting to join the Congress…the party has not assured tickets to anyone. We will screen every name, only if we are able to accommodate them we will consider,” he said, adding that there are also some like Gopalakrishna, who are willing to join the party unconditionally to work for it.
Shivakumar’s clarification that those joining the party are not being assured tickets, is seen as a message to protesting party workers, and those disgruntled with such inductions.
Workers are against the party’s possible plans to give Molakalmuru ticket to Gopalakrishna, a “turncoat”, instead of Babu, who was the Congress candidate from the constituency in the 2018 polls.
Gopalakrishna, a six-time MLA, was earlier with the Congress and had got elected from Molakalmuru Assembly segment in Chitradurga district four times, and once from Ballari, before joining the BJP and winning from Kudligi.
After denial of the Congress ticket in 2018, he had joined the BJP ahead of the elections. The saffron party gave him a ticket from Kudligi in Vijayanagara district instead of Molakalmuru, as senior leader Sriramulu was fielded from there. He had won from there.
Recalling his and his family’s long association with the Congress, Gopalakrishna after joining said he will work for the party’s victory in Ballari, Chitradurga and Vijayanagara districts.
He said he will work towards installing a Congress government once again in the state, and it is left for the party leadership to field him from the Molakalmuru Assembly segment.
Recently, two MLCs from BJP — Puttanna and Baburao Chinchansur — had quit from their Legislative Council membership to join the Congress.
JD(S) MLA S R Srinivas (Gubbi Srinivas alias Vasu) too joined the Congress, after resigning as MLA on March 27.