The Karnataka BJP has looked set, for some days now, to pull off a coup by inducting former external affairs minister and ex-Karnataka chief minister, SM Krishna. And now it now seems that the party will put the veteran leader quickly to work, to win bye-polls in the old Mysuru area as well.
According to sources in the BJP, Krishna will be joining the party before March 29. The former Congress leader was slated to meet BJP National President, Amit Shah, on Wednesday in New Delhi, but had to return to Bengaluru as his sister passed away on Tuesday night.
Sources in the BJP said that Krishna may well campaign for BJP leaders in the old Mysuru area as the Nanjangud and Gundlupet bye-polls are closing in.
Nanjangud is seeing a bye-poll because its last MLA Srinivas Prasad, had resigned his post in on December 1, ahead of quitting the Congress and joining the BJP in January. In Gundlupet, the seat fell vacant when veteran Congress leader HS Mahadev Prasad passed away in January.
Srinivas Prasad was the former Public Works Minister in the Siddaramaiah cabinet. Prasad moved out of the Congress after he was dropped from his ministerial post during the July 2016 reshuffle of the cabinet.
Krishna and Prasad had worked closely together during their stint with the Congress, and the latter had also visited Krishna on January 31 to draw the veteran into the BJP’s fold.
“The Nanjangud and Gundlupet bypolls will be held on April 9. If Krishna campaigns along with Srinivas Prasad, there are very high chances that the BJP would win,” a BJP insider said.
The move may solidify BJP’s presence in districts with a high Vokkaliga population as 84-year-old Krishna had won multiple elections in the past due to their votes.
Krishna had announced his resignation from the Congress party on January 28. His 46-year stint with the party, he said then, had left him disappointed, as he was sidelined.
“A situation has arrived where I have to leave the home in which I resided for the last 46 years. With pain and anguish, I have decided to quit the Congress,” Krishna had announced in a press conference.