Former Chamrajpet MLA Zameer Ahmed Khan, who was with the JD(S), recently joined the Congress.

Rebel vs rebel JDS defector Zameer to take on Cong defector Altaf Khan in KtakaZameer Ahmed Khan/Facebook and YouTube
news Karnataka Elections Monday, April 02, 2018 - 16:36

With just over a month to go for the Karnataka Assembly Elections, the JD(S) has been left red-faced after seven rebel MLAs — including former Chamrajpet MLA Zameer Ahmed Khan —  decided to defect to Congress. The JD(S), however, has now poached former Congress leader Altaf Khan, who was inducted into the party on Monday.

The party is expected to pit Altaf against Zameer, who was earlier the JD(S)’s prominent Muslim face.

When he was inducted into the party on Monday, Altaf took a dig at Zameer and said, “Deve Gowda is like our father. It is said that parents must be treated like gods. For someone who has abandoned his father, what is the guarantee that you will not abandon your constituents?"

"The entire state is watching you. You are 4ft tall, I am 6ft. Let's see who will win. This time, Zameer Ahmed Khan will not win," Altaf added.

According to a JD(S) source, Altaf joined the party as he felt that his efforts were not being appreciated by Congress, despite being in the party for two decades. When Zameer joined the Congress on March 25, the party decided to give him the ticket instead of Altaf.

In 2016, six JD(S) MLAs voted in favour of the Congress candidate in the Rajya Sabha elections. In August 2017, seven rebel JD(S) MLAs — including Zameer — met with Rahul Gandhi as they had cross-voted for the Congress candidate in the Rajya Sabha elections.

“Seven JD(S) MLAs have decided to join the Congress. They were not coerced into cross-voting during the Rajya Sabha election but did it of their own volition. These MLAs have a strong holding in their respective constituencies. They will boost the party’s strength,” Chief Minister Siddaramaiah then said.

The MLAs resigned from the JD(S) on March 24, a day after they voted for the Congress in the Rajya Sabha elections. They joined the Congress on March 25 in the presence of Rahul Gandhi.

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