Two former MPs, ex-IAS officer join BJP in Karnataka

Former Congress MP S P Muddahanumegowda, actor-turned-politician Shashikumar and retired IAS officer B H Anil Kumar Thursday joined the BJP in Karnataka.

The trio was inducted into the party at the state BJP office in the presence of chief minister Basavaraj Bommai, state BJP president Nalin Kumar Kateel and other leaders of the state unit.

Bommai said many leaders are keen to join the BJP. “Polarisation means there are two poles (for people to identify themselves with). There aren’t two poles anymore; there is only BJP,” he said.

Muddahanumegowda was elected MP from the Tumkur Lok Sabha constituency in 2014. However, in 2019, Congress and JD(S) fielded former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda as a consensus candidate which upset Muddahanumegowda.

A two-time MLA, Muddahanumegowda is eyeing a ticket for the Kunigal Assembly seat in the upcoming state polls. He was an MLA in the segment twice, which is currently represented by Dr Ranganath of the Congress, a relative of Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president D K Shivakumar.

Muddahanumegowda had resigned from the Congress in September this year after meeting Shivakumar and legislature party leader Siddaramaiah, saying he was unhappy over the treatment meted to him by the party in the last few years.

After his resignation, he had announced that he would contest the next Assembly election in the state from the Kunigal constituency.

Meanwhile, Shahshikumar, who was elected as an MP from the Chitradurga constituency in 2004, quit JD(U) and joined JD(S) before moving to Congress. In 2018 he contested from the Hosadurga Assembly segment in Chitradurga district on a JD(S) ticket. He is expected to contest from the same constituency again but this time on a BJP ticket.

In 2010, Shashikumar got embroiled in a fake caste certificate controversy with allegations that he had faked his scheduled tribe certificate to claim that he hails from the Nayaka community. He denied the charges saying the allegation, made by the then BJP government, was politically motivated.

B H Anil Kumar, a 1987 batch IAS officer, retired from civil service as additional chief secretary to government recently and was formerly a BBMP commissioner. Even before his service ended, there were rumours that he would take the poll plunge after retirement and would contest from the Koratagere constituency which is reserved for the scheduled caste community.

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