Udayavni Special

Hoskote independent MLA Sharath Bachegowda all set to join Cong

Team Udayavani, Dec 17, 2020, 3:37 PM IST

Bengaluru: Giving clear indications that he was all set to join the Congress, independent MLA from Hoskote assembly constituency Sharath Bachegowda on Thursday said he wants to be associated with a national party which would give him an opportunity to lend voice to broader issues.

Amid speculation for some time now about his joining the Congress, Sharath Bachegowda met Congress Karnataka president D K Shivakumar at the latter”s residence last night.

“The subject matter at yesterday”s meeting was on the upcoming gram panchayat and District Co-operative Central (DCC) Bank elections which we are fighting together,” Sharath said.

Speaking to PTI, he said, it is not that the issue of joining Congress did not come up for discussion during the meeting, but nothing is concrete as yet and no absolute time frame has been fixed for it.

Asked if he has made up his mind to join Congress, Sharath said, “…. I”m looking to align with some national party…there are many broad issues which are happening right now to which I want to lend my voice.So joining a national party would make sense for me.”

Sharath, 37, is the son of BJPs Member of Parliament from Chikkaballapur B N Bachegowda and had served as secretary of BJP”s Yuva Morcha in the past.

He was expelled from the BJP as he rebelled and decided to contest against the party”s official candidate MTB Nagaraj during the December 2019 assembly bypolls.

He then went on pull off a victory in the bypolls with his ”Swabhimani” campaign as an independent candidate.

Sharath was against the BJP”s decision to field Nagaraj who had jumped ship from the Congress.

In the 2018 assembly election, Sharath, who was the BJP candidate, had lost to Nagaraj, who was then with the Congress.

Asked about why he was not joining the JD(S) which had supported him during the bypolls without fielding a candidate, Sharath, who holds a mechanical engineering degree and did his MS in the US, said “I want to identify myself with a national party.” According to Congress party sources, Sharath may join the party some time in the new year and things are being worked out.

To a question on not reconciling with the BJP as his father is still in the party, he said, “in order to have a reconciliation, there needs to be an approach.Since there hasn”t been an approach, there is nothing of that sorts.”

“With Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa clearly backing his opponent Nagaraj, by making him MLC despite losing assembly bypolls and with prospects of also making him a Minister, Sharath seems to have realised his chances are bleak in the BJP. Hence, he is looking forward to secure his political future with the Congress,” political workers in Hoskote said.

By inducting him Congress too plans to bank on Sharath and his support base for improving its prospects in Hoskote.

His father and now MP has represented the seat several times in the past from the Janata Dal and also the BJP.

While Sharath is largely seen as a “local boy” in Hosakote, Nagaraj has been projected as an outsider by his opponent, political workers from the constituency said.

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