Former Janata Dal-Secular MLA SR Srinivas (Gubbi Srinivas alias Vasu) on Thursday became the third legislator to resign from the post, and join Congress, this month, ahead of May 10 assembly polls in Karnataka.
According to the Congress, 37 leaders associated with JD-S in the 2018 assembly polls, have joined the party so far, in the run up to the upcoming elections.
Srinivas, a former minister had resigned as MLA on March 27, while two MLCs from Bharatiya Janata Party Puttanna and Baburao Chinchansur had resigned from their legislative council membership earlier this month to join the Congress.
Puttanna has been fielded from Rajajinagar assembly segment by the Congress in its first list, and there are indications that the party might field Chinchansur and Srinivas too from Gurmitkal and Gubbi segments respectively.
Inducting Srinivas, a four-time MLA and former Minister,and his supporters into the party, KPCC President D K Shivakumar said, "I had been trying to get Vasu (Srinivas) to Congress for a long time, but now looking at the mood of the people he has decided to join the party...His joining will not only strengthen the party in Tumakuru, but the entire Old Mysuru region."
Noting that about 37 leaders, who were associated with JD(S) in the last assembly polls have joined the party so far -- also two BJP MLCs Puttanna and Baburao Chinchansur, among several others, Shivakumar claimed, there is a "long list of people" wishing to join the Congress and it will be made known in stages, in the days to come.
Srinivas said he was returning to his "own house", recalling his and his father's earlier association with the Congress.
"I had no intention to leave JD(S) but was forced to. In October, 2021 Kumaraswamy announced a JD(S) candidate from my seat even as I was still in the party. He also made certain false allegations against me, like holding me responsible for Deve Gowda's defeat in 2019 Lok Sabha polls from Tumakuru.
I had never done such anti-party activity and had honestly served the party," he said.
He claimed that he too was thrown out of JD-S for no fault of his, like it was done to Siddaramaiah by the regional party in the past.
Welcoming Srinivas, former CM Siddaramaiah said, it is "Ghar Vapsi" for him.
He said, "In JD-S you will have to go by what HD Deve Gowda (party patriarch) and HD Kumaraswamy (leader and former CM) say, what is decided in the family is final, there is no freedom of expression there, and if anyone violates it, if anyone expresses their opinion in the party against their will, they can't stay in the party. Same thing happened to me and now to Vasu."
Averring that several people are joining Congress because, the party alone can "save the state from BJP's corruption" and set right the system, Siddaramaiah said, JD-S cannot come to power on its own; they wait for a fractured verdict.
"Congress alone can come to power in the state, and save it from BJP."
Meanwhile, BJP leader Mudigere in Chikkamagaluru district, Halappa, who was a former Pura Sabha and Housing Board president, joined the Congress.
He had quit the Congress when former Chief Minister SM Krishna joined the BJP in 2017.
Another BJP leader from Mandya, Satyananda too joined the party.