BENGALURU: In a boost to BJP in the Old Mysuru region, a large contingent of second-line Congress leaders, led by former KPCC member Indavalu S Sachidananda, who had backed Mandya independent MP Sumalatha Ambareesh during the 2019 LS polls, joined BJP on Monday.
It has been interpreted as Sumalatha letting her followers, especially fans of Ambareesh, to join BJP to help the party ahead of polls. She and her son Abhishek may take a decision soon, sources said.
Sachidanand, his father-in-law SL Lingaraju, who lost the 2013 elections as a BJP candidate, and others joined BJP. It is considered a major jolt to Congress in the Srirangapatna Assembly constituency as Sachidananda is likely to be the BJP candidate in the polls. If that happens, he will take on JDS MLA Raveendra Srikantaiah and Ramesh Bandisidde Gowda of Congress.
But his joining did not go down well with local BJP leaders. BJP Raitha Morcha state vice-president KS Nanjunde Gowda said he too is in the race for the BJP ticket. “No one can declare himself a BJP candidate as the party high command takes the final decision,” said Gowda.
Speaking at an event to welcome the new entrants into the party, BJP state vice-president Nirmal Kumar Surana claimed that there is a BJP wave in Mandya district and Sachidananda’s entry will give further boost.
BJP is liberating Mandya district from the clutches of Congress and JDS, which are family parties that field candidates from political families, said Higher Education Minister Dr CN Ashwath Narayan said.
“Unable to cope up with the slavery in JDS leaders are keen on joining BJP which is the only pro-people party,” he said. Former minister CP Yogishwar said there is no scarcity of candidates for BJP in Mandya. Ministers KC Narayana Gowda and Gopalaiah also felt the party is going from strength to strength in the district.