S M Krishna joined BJP in Delhi in the presence of Party President Amit Shah.
Former Karnataka Chief Minister S M Krishna joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Yesterday, giving the party a crucial urban face and a good leader amongst the dominant Vokkaliga community ahead of the Assembly elections in 2018.
Krishna, as the Congress chief minister played a role in helping Bengaluru to retain the tag of India’s tech hub against Chandrababu Naidu’s Hyderabad in the early 2000’s. He then roped Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani and got him to involve in improving Bengaluru’s infrastructure. His focus towards urban had drawn the ire of rural voters all across Karnataka, reeling under drought, losing the power in an ill-timed election that he has expected to capitalise on the United Progressive Alliance’s (UPA’s) rise nationally.
Besides he has a swing on urban voters, Krishna, 84, have been an influential leader in Vokkaliga community and a dominant leader in southern Karnataka, where BJP had struggled to make significant inroads in largely agrarian region.
Krishna joined the BJP in Delhi in the presence of Party President Amit Shah and had flanked by all the three ministers from Karnataka – Sadananda Gowda, Ananth Kumar and Ramesh Jigajinagi in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet.
The party now looking to comeback in Karnataka – its gateway in South India, is set to capitalise on Krishna’s presence, who quit Congress before two months for the Assembly by-polls in Mysuru region. Karnataka will now see for by-elections in two Assembly seats of Gundlupet and Chamarajanagar.
The by-polls will be the precursor to the next year’s elections. After BJP winning the UP elections with a massive margin now it has set its eyes on Karnataka. Its campaign leader and former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa, who belongs to one of the dominant Lingayat community had lost the steam and his tiffs with K S Eshwarappa had made BJP appear like a divided house.
Yet it have to depend on the charisma of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make a dent against the Congress, which has taken a leaf out of the BJP to market its achievements over the last four years of rule.