Bengaluru: Former JD(S) MLC Sandesh Nagaraj of Mysuru and seven other leaders from different parties joined BJP in the presence of Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and State BJP Chief Nalin Kumar Kateel at an induction programme held at a private Hotel here on Saturday.
Sandesh Nagaraj, who was elected twice on a JD(S) ticket from Mysuru-Chamarajangar dual member Legislative Council seat from local bodies, was denied the party ticket for the third time in the polls held late last year. Nagaraj, who was miffed with the party leaders a couple of years into his second term, had maintained a distance from JD(S) party and its activities and later got close to BJP leaders. But his last minute attempt to woo the JD(S) top brass to get the party ticket for the third time, proved futile and since then he stayed away from politics. Now, he has joined the BJP along with several others from old Mysuru region.
Interestingly, Sandesh Nagaraj’s younger brother Sandesh Swamy, a former Mysuru Mayor, had joined BJP some years ago and his (Swamy) son Satwik is currently a BJP Corporator.
Apart from Sandesh Nagaraj, other top leaders who joined the BJP are Pramod Madhwaraj of Udupi and Varthur Prakash of Kolar, both former Ministers, former Malur MLA Kodihalli Manjunath Gowda, former Rajya Sabha Congress MP K.B. Krishnamurthy, an influential SC leader of Bengaluru, Ashok Jayaram, youth JD(S) leader of Mandya and son of former Minister late S.D. Jayaram and former IRS officer Lakshmi Ashwin Gowda, who hails from Nagamangala.
With the induction of these leaders from old Mysuru region, the BJP, which does not have a strong base in this region, hopes to raise its stakes in the Assembly elections due next year.
Ministers R. Ashoka, K. Gopalaiah, K.C. Narayanagowda, Dr. K. Sudhakar and S.T. Somashekar, Kolar MP Muniswamy, MLCs C.P. Yogeshwar and N. Ravikumar, State BJP Vice-President Nirmal Kumar Surana and other BJP leaders were also present.