Former BJP MLAs Malikayya Guttedar, Sharada Shetty join Congress


PTI, Apr 19, 2024, 7:27 PM IST

Image: X/@INCKarnataka

Two former BJP MLAs Malikayya Guttedar and Sharada Mohan Shetty on Friday joined the Congress, ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

Guttedar is a six-time MLA from Afzalpur in Kalaburagi district and a former Minister.

Kalaburagi is the home district of Congress President M Mallikarjun Kharge, who successfully contested the 2009 and 2014 Lok Sabha elections from there but lost in the 2019 polls.

Kharge’s son-in-law Radhakrishna Doddamani is contesting from Kalaburagi (Gulbarga) in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Guttedar was supposedly upset with the induction of his brother Nithin Venkaiah Guttedar into the BJP earlier this month.

M Y Patil from Congress had won Afzalpur seat in the 2023 Assembly election, in which Malikayya Guttedar had finished third behind Nithin, who contested as an independent.

Malikayya, who was previously with the Congress and had joined the BJP later, had been criticising BJP veteran and former Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa and his son B Y Vijayendra the state BJP president, after his brother’s move to the party.

According to sources, Karnataka Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister and Kharge’s son, Priyank Kharge, played a crucial role in bringing him back to the Congress fold.

Sharada Mohan Shetty was a Congress MLA from Kumta in Uttara Kannada district from 2013 to 2018. She had switched over to the BJP after being denied a ticket in the 2018 Assembly elections.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, his deputy D K Shivakumar, who is the State Congress chief, and Priyank Kharge welcomed the two leaders and their supporters into the party fold.

Siddaramaiah said he knew that Malikayya Guttedar would not remain in the BJP for long because he is ‘pro-social justice’.

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