BENGALURU: BJP MLC and former minister AH Vishwanath on Tuesday met CLP leader Siddaramaiah at the latter’s Bengaluru residence. This comes two days after Vishwanath met Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge in Delhi, which political pundits believe hints at his return to the Grand Old Party ahead of the 2023 Assembly polls.
The meetings assume significance as both Kharge and Siddaramaiah have to give their nod to Vishwanath if he wants to return to the Congress.
Since the current Hunsur MLA HP Manjunath is a staunch supporter of Siddaramaiah, Vishwanath — who held the seat previously — has to convince him if he wants to get the Congress ticket to contest the 2023 polls, a source said.
In 2019, when 17 Congress and JDS MLAs resigned and supported the BJP, Vishwanath, the then Hunsur JDS MLA, and Ramesh Jarkiholi were two key players who helped BS Yediyurappa form the government.
Except for Vishwanath, the others had managed to become ministers. Citing that Vishwanath had lost the bypoll held to Hunsur, he was denied a ministerial post. But another Kuruba leader, MTB Nagaraj, though had lost the bypolls, was elected an MLC and made a minister. Vishwanath since then has been critical of the BJP government.
“My meetings with Kharge and Siddaramaiah were courtesy calls. I met Kharge to wish him for becoming the Congress chief. As far as the CLP leader is concerned, I went to inquire about his health,” Vishwanath told TNIE, adding that he went to Delhi to attend a Shepherd India International Association meeting. “But politics is not a stagnant water and time will decide my next move,” he added.