Will resign from BJP, but contest poll, declares Jagadish Shettar after conciliatory talks fail

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HUBBALLI: After hours of trying to cajole and convince him, former chief minister Jagadish Shettar, late on Saturday night, announced that the will quit the BJP and insisted that he will contest the upcoming election.

“I will resign from the BJP.  I was ready to get retire, but the party has hurt me. I will go to Sirsi tomorrow and submit my resignation to the Speaker at 10.30 am. I built and nurtured the party, but they are forcing me to leave the BJP. There is a conspiracy behind all this”, Jagadish Shettar after a meeting with Union Ministers Dharmendra Pradhan, Pralhad Joshi and Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai.

Speaking to media persons, he said, “Now time has come for everything. The last three to four months have been the worst days of my political life. The BJP has given all respect and I thank the party for it. I did not just accept power from the party, but I worked hard for it. I built a party in North Karnataka along with B S Yediyurappa, the late H N Ananth Kumar day and night. I have no black mark on me, no charge of corruption, no allegations of CD”.

“I took an important decision when I was Chief Minister. I have won all the elections in the last 30 years. Despite all this, I am not being given a ticket. It hurts me a lot. So far, the high command has not answered my question. There is no sex scandal allegations against me or any other accusation, but why did they refuse me a ticket?”, Shettar questioned.

Shettar said he has sought an appointment with Assembly Speaker Vishweshwara Hegde Kageri on Sunday to submit his resignation from the post of MLA after his meeting with Union Minister and Karnataka election in-charge Dharmendra Pradhan, Pralhad Joshi and Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai at his residence on Saturday night amid his ultimatum over the allocation of a ticket for the Hubli-Dharwad Central segment. But the negotiations failed.

Shettar had set a deadline till 8.30 pm on Saturday for the BJP to decide whether it will give ticket to contest Assembly polls. But, as the talks failed, he decided to submit his resignation to the Speaker on Sunday.

Earlier, the three leaders called Shettar to a private hotel for a meeting, but he refused. He insisted that the three come to his residence. After a preliminary meeting, Dharmendra Pradhan, Prahlad Joshi and CM Basavaraj Bommai held a meeting with Shettar.

As per the party sources, BJP offered him a getting governor post, but Shettar was not ready for it. Shettar, a six-time MLA from the constituency, was reportedly advised by the party to stand down and not seek a fresh term as MLA from the Hubli-Dharwad Central segment, following which his followers expressed their anguish against the party’s high command.

Shettar on Saturday gave an ultimatum to the party and said that he will take a decision after meeting with state election in-charge Dharmendra Pradhan and Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai. “Karnataka election in-charge Dharmendra Pradhan, C M Bommai and Pralhad Joshi are coming to meet me today. After the meeting, I will take a decision. Earlier, I was supposed to file a nomination by April 17 or 18, now, that might change. All parties want to take the opportunity of the situation,” he had said.

His remarks came after a meeting held earlier today with Union Minister Pralhad Joshi. His name did not figure in the first and second lists of candidates issued by the ruling party. However, he said that he was hopeful of getting the ticket. He had hopes of bagging the ticket from Hubli-Dharwad Central segment and, as of now, no discussions are ongoing with any other party, Shettar had said.

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