Laxman Savadi, a former Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister and three-time MLA from Athani in Belagavi district has decided to join the Congress party after being denied a ticket to contest the upcoming elections. This news comes after Savadi met with senior Congress leaders, including state unit president D K Shivakumar and LoP Siddaramaiah, in Bengaluru on Friday. Shivakumar confirmed that Savadi joined the grand old party.
The BJP is currently facing a rebellion within its Karnataka unit following the announcement of two lists of candidates. In response, the party’s state election in charge, Dharmendra Pradhan, will be in Belagavi today to hold meetings with disgruntled leaders. Pradhan has called for an urgent meeting with all ticket aspirants and candidates who have received tickets.
Another notable figure in the upcoming elections is Savadi, a three-time MLA from Athani who lost in the 2018 elections to Kumathalli, who was among the group of defectors that helped the BJP form its government under the leadership of B S Yediyurappa in 2019. However, Savadi has a controversial past, having been caught in a scandal in 2012 where he and a colleague were allegedly watching pornographic clips on a mobile phone in the Karnataka Legislative Assembly. Savadi resigned as a minister soon after the incident became a major political controversy.
Two sitting MLAs, Mahadevappa Yadawad from the Ramdurg constituency and Anil Benake of the Belagavi North seat, have expressed their frustration with the party for denying them tickets. Benake has even admitted to receiving offers from both JDS and Congress and will make a final decision after meeting with Pradhan on Sunday. However, this is not the only instance of rebellion within the party. Dr. Vishwanath Patil, a loyalist of Yediyurappa, has announced his resignation from the party after being denied a ticket in Bailhongal.
Overall, the upcoming elections in Karnataka are shaping up to be quite contentious, with multiple instances of rebellion and controversy within the BJP. It remains to be seen how these issues will affect the outcome of the elections.