EXCLUSIVE: Shettar hopes to be third-time lucky

Former Karnataka CM Jagadish Shettar, whose name was not there in BJP’s first and second lists of candidates, says he is hopeful of getting a ticket

NEW DELHI | Updated: 13 April, 2023 1:23 pm IST
Former Karnataka CM Jagadish Shettar is hopeful of contesting assembly election

With a hope to record a thumping win in the Karnataka assembly election, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) appeared to have ruffled more than a few feathers by dropping some prominent names while giving others a chance.

While former deputy chief minister Laxman Savadi had already quit the party, many other disgruntled members are said to be on the verge of quitting the party – some mulling running as an independent candidate, some looking for greener pastures, and many having already decided to quit politics.

However, there is one name that has not given up. Former chief minister Jagadish Shettar is hopeful that he will be considered despite his name being missing from the first and second lists of candidates.

Shettar, who was on his way back to Bengaluru from New Delhi, told The New Indian that he is still hopeful for a ticket despite missing it again on Wednesday night when the second list of candidates was announced.

“I met JP Nadda yesterday and I explained to him the reason behind my decision to contest the election,” Shettar told The New Indian.

“They have heard my request and it’s going to be a positive response. Let the third list come,” a confident Shettar said.

Shettar, a prominent Lingayat community leader and a close associate of former CM BS Yediyurappa, rushed to New Delhi to meet BJP national president JP Nadda after he was denied a ticket in the first list on Tuesday night.

Shettar is the sitting MLA from Hubli-Dharwad Central, where he defeated Congress candidate Dr Mahesh Nalwad by a margin of 21,306 votes in the 2018 assembly election.

A miffed Shettar had said that he would contest at any cost and had asked the party to reconsider its decision.

After he met with Nadda in New Delhi, Shettar said, “After meeting with the party president, JP Nadda, I expressed my desire to contest the elections. I have won the last six elections, and the party president said he would discuss it with other leaders and reach a conclusion.”

Despite his name not being on the second list, sources in the party said that the BJP will heed Shettar’s wish. Sources reasoned that after the furore over the names of candidates, the BJP is not leaving anything to chance. The party is in no mood to upset the influential Lingayat community, to which Shettar belongs.

Echoing the sentiments, Yediyurappa, a powerful Lingayat community leader, said, “Ninety-nine per cent, Shettar will get a ticket.”

Shettar, meanwhile, refused to draw into the talks of rebellion, with many disgruntled leaders on the verge of leaving the party. “I don’t want to comment more. I’ve been elected for six consecutive terms, one opportunity should be given to me,” he said.

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