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I invite all disgruntled BJP leaders and workers to join Congress: DK Shivakumar

Karnataka Water Resource Minister DK Shivakumar’s open letter comes amidst speculation of Gokak MLA Ramesh Jarkiholi’s likely exit from the Congress.

Karnataka Water Resource Minister DK Shivakumar on Wednesday issued an open invite to BJP leaders and party workers from Chamarajanagar to join the Congress. In an open letter, Minister DK Shivakumar said that several BJP leaders in the region were upset with the party’s leadership. “Several BJP leaders and party workers have personally told me that they are upset with the selfish leaders in the district and want to join the Congress. I am inviting all disgruntled BJP leaders and party workers to join the Congress if you believe in the ideology and the principles of equality, social justice and freedom,” DK Shivakumar’s letter states.

The Minister’s letter comes amidst speculation of Gokak MLA Ramesh Jarkiholi’s likely exit from the Congress. Sources in the Congress say that Ramesh Jarkiholi held talks with BJP leaders and is ready to quit the Congress.

Former Municipalities Minister in the HD Kumaraswamy government, Ramesh Jarkiholi was dropped from the cabinet after a fall out with DK Shivakumar. Ramesh Jarkiholi had also previously announced his intention to quit the Congress and had hold talks with BJP leaders.

“The high command wanted to set a precedent for those who rebel at the drop of the hat. But Ramesh Jarkiholi was removed from the cabinet because of his scuffle with Dk Shivakumar,” a Congress source said.

Soon after he was removed from the cabinet, five other Congress leaders from Belagavi district stood in support of Ramesh Jarkiholi.

“Ramesh and five others wanted to join the BJP but Amit Shah told them to hold off the resignations until the BJP was sure to get 11 MLAs to resign. This would give BJP the simple majority and they would come to power,” a BJP source said.

The BJP source said that Ramesh was in turn offered a ticket to contest the Lok Sabha polls from a BJP ticket. “Ramesh Jarkiholi is yet to decide on that front,” the source added.

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