The decision of former MP Prabhakar Kore to join the BJP has surprised many.
Mr. Kore is a Lingayat and heads the Karnataka Lingayat Education Society, which runs a number of educational-health institutions in the State. His decision is being seen as further consolidation of the Lingayat forces behind the BJP, particularly in north Karnataka.
When a section of the media was carrying reports that Mr. Kore was planning to join the BJP or the Janata Dal (S) after the Congress denied him ticket to contest from the Chikkodi-Sadalaga Assembly constituency, he had denied them. On April 30, he said he was “seriously” considering saying “goodbye” to active politics to devote the rest of his life to “social service.”
On May 4, he said: “I want to quit politics, leave alone joining the Janata Dal (S), the BJP or any other party.” “Though I am pained at the Congress attitude towards me, I will remain a loyal worker of the party,” he said and emphasised that politics was not what it used to be, and therefore he wished to concentrate on social service.
Apparently, he was “hurt” by the raw deal given to him by the high command as well as the State Congress leadership.
He was in the Congress for about four decades. He was made member of the Rajya Sabha in 1990 and was nominated to the Legislative Council in 2001. When the Chikkodi constituency was made a general segment and its map was redrawn by including some parts of Sadalga into it to form the new “Chikkodi-Sadalga” constituency, he saw an opportunity to enter the Assembly from his home constituency. But, the Congress dashed his dream.
The Congress chose to field his arch rival and two-time MLA, Prakash B. Hukkeri, from there.
According to the grapevine, both the State and central leadership of the Congress were not happy with Mr. Kore’s favours to the Janata Dal (S)-BJP coalition government when the special legislature session was held on the KLE Society’s J.N. Medical College campus here in September, 2006.
Since then, Mr. Kore’s relationship with senior leaders had come under strain.