Yellapur MLA Shivaram Hebbar.
Yellapur MLA Shivaram Hebbar.(File | Express)

Karnataka: Will MLA Hebbar rock BJP-JDS boat?

However, the party feels that he might still indulge in cross voting and is now keeping a tab on him.

KARWAR: With the Rajya Sabha elections scheduled on Tuesday, all focus is on former minister and Yellapur MLA Shivaram Hebbar, who is said to have refused to vote for JDS-BJP candidate Kupendra Reddy.

In the wake of the BJP high command instructing that there should not be any cross voting with party president JP Nadda and Home Minister Amit Shah keeping a tab on the developments in the state, party sources said Hebbar, who is said to be in touch with Congress leader D K Shivakumar, might cross vote in the elections.

The saffron party, in addition to winning its own candidates, has decided to ensure the victory of five Rajya Sabha members of the JDS. Sources in the party said the hurdle to that is Yeshwanthpur MLA Somashekar and Hebbar, who are suspected to cross vote.

Hebbar is said to have indirectly told his party higher ups in the state that he will not support the JDS candidate. Considering this, the party is said to have told him that he should instead vote for Narayan Bandige, another BJP candidate.

However, the party feels that he might still indulge in cross voting and is now keeping a tab on him. To prevent any kind of cross voting, the BJP has formed three teams to keep an eye on the day of voting.

When contacted, Hebbar termed the reports about his cross voting as a rumour. “Whatever you have heard and reported about is far from the truth. You will come to know about it by tomorrow (Tuesday) evening,” he told TNIE.

Hebbar joined the BJP from the Congress in 2019 along with S T Somashekar, Ramesh Jharkiholi, Byrathi Basavraj, D Sudhakar, B C Patil and others. He was made the labour minister in the Yediyurappa cabinet. He continued with the same portfolio when Basavraj Bommai replaced Yediyurappa.

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