“I met AICC President Rahul Gandhi on Friday and he assured a smooth entry into the Congress,” said Kumar.

BJP veteran and BSY loyalist V Dhananjay Kumar joins Congress
news Politics Saturday, July 22, 2017 - 13:24

As the 2018 Assembly polls in Karnataka draw near, both the Congress and the BJP seem to be poaching each other’s candidates.

On Friday, veteran BJP leader and a long-time Yeddyurappa loyalist – Venur Dhananjay Kumar, joined the Congress.

“Dhananjay Kumar felt sidelined by the BJP. He had been extremely loyal to Yeddyurappa but was not given the positions a politician of his experience deserves. Hence, he joined the Congress,” a source with knowledge about Dhananjay Kumar’s exit told The News Minute.

The former Union Minister, joined the Congress party after AICC President, Rahul Gandhi’s visit to Bengaluru on Friday.

“I met AICC President Rahul Gandhi on Friday and he assured a smooth entry into the Congress. He said that the entire Congress leadership is supporting this move. In a couple of days, KPCC President Dr G Parameshwar will announce my entry to the party. I don’t expect any great post once I join the Congress but if the party wants me to contest the upcoming polls, then I will oblige,” Dhananjay Kumar told TNM.

V Dhananjay Kumar began his political career in the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) youth wing. He went on to become an MLA in the Karnataka Legislative Assembly in 1983.

In 1991, he was elected to the 10th Lok Sabha defeating the Congress veteran B Janardhana Poojary.

As the BJP grew stronger in the state, he was offered the Mangaluru constituency and won four successive Lok Sabha elections. He served as a Union Minister thrice  when the BJP was elected to power.

He was appointed the Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism in 1996, the Union Minister of State for Finance between 1999–2000 and the Union Minister of State for Textiles between 2000–2003.

A staunch loyalist of BJP state President BS Yeddyurappa, Dhananajay Kumar, in October 2012, had hurled the choicest of abuses against BJP leaders including the central leadership, for ousting Yeddyurappa from the post of Chief Minister.

Angered by the high command’s decision to oust him as CM, Yeddyurappa then went on to form the Karnataka Janata Party (KJP). 

The party’s central leadership was angered by Dhananjay’s insults and had expelled him from the BJP on that grounds that Kumar was indulging in “anti-party activities”. Loyal as ever, Dhananjay Kumar went and joined the KJP and was even made its President.

However, when the KJP was dissolved, there was strong opposition for his re-entry into the BJP as he had severely slammed the BJP’s central leadership.

In March 2014, Dhananjay Kumar joined the JD(S). However, in 2015, after holding talks with his close friend Yeddyurappa, he was back in the BJP’s fold.