Former Karnataka Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar on Saturday said the process to bring him back to the BJP had been on for the last five to six months, as he gave large credit to state president B Y Vijayendra and veteran leader B S Yediyurappa.
He said one of the main reasons for his return to the BJP is to contribute towards making Narendra Modi prime minister once again, and that he will work towards ensuring that the party wins most of the seats in the state in the coming Lok Sabha polls.
Mr Shettar rejoined the BJP by quitting Congress in New Delhi on Thursday.
He had joined the grand old party, ahead of assembly polls last year, after being denied a ticket by the BJP to contest the elections.
“It is the wish of crores of Indians that Modi’s leadership is needed for the country. The BJP is a cadre-based party and when I was travelling across the state as a Congress leader, BJP workers used to ask me to return to the party; along with that there was also a call by several state leaders and the national leadership of the BJP, asking me to rejoin the party. I have responded to it,” Mr Shettar said.
Speaking to reporters here, he said, “After Vijayendra became the state president he put lot of efforts in bringing me back to the party in the last two months. Also Yediyurappa by taking a keen interest in this, spoke to me, and gave importance to the process of bringing me back to BJP.” Highlighting that the process to bring him back to the BJP was on for the last five to six months, Mr Shettar further said, in the last one or two months after Vijayendra took over as the president, the process gained momentum.
“I came back to my home in the presence of national leaders with happiness. I will make all efforts as per the directions of the leadership to strengthen the organisation and ensure that the BJP wins more than 25 seats (out of total 28 in Karnataka) it had won last time, in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, by travelling across the state,” he said, adding that making Modi as PM once again is the goal.
Mr Shettar on Friday visited the state BJP headquarters.
Noting that the circumstances under which he quit BJP and joined Congress is well known, Mr Shettar said, “BJP is my house, I have built and nurtured this house. For more than 35-40 years my family — including my father and uncle — have been associated with the party, since Jana Sangh days and they had served as legislator, councillor and Mayor.” “I had quit BJP and joined Congress following the developments that took place ahead of the assembly polls. It is also known that I was made MLC by the Congress. The main reason for me to quit Congress and rejoin the BJP is Prime Minister Narendra Modi has done good work for 10 years and he should become PM once again,” he said.
Stating that the people of the country want to see India grow much stronger economically and strategically at the global stage under Modi’s leadership, he further said, “To serve and contribute to realise this cause in a small way possible, I have rejoined the BJP.” Also expressing happiness over the dream of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya getting realised under Modi’s leadership, he recalled that he had completely coordinated BJP veteran L K Advani’s Ratha Yatra in Hubballi-Dharwad in the past, which had in a way mobalised the country for the Ram Mandir cause.
Asked about his earlier comments that the BJP has deteriorated to the level that it cannot be set right, and whether the party is now back on the right track, Mr Shettar said, “I had said it based on the situation then and there should not be dejection that things can’t be set right or repaired again, there should be hope always. With that hope, I will work to build the party, taking everyone together.”
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)