The Weekend Leader - BJP Loses Veteran Malikayya Guttedar to Congress Ahead of Lok Sabha Elections

BJP Loses Veteran Malikayya Guttedar to Congress Ahead of Lok Sabha Elections



Photo: IANS

Senior BJP leader Malikayya Guttedar (67), who had joined the party from the Congress just before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, returned to the grand old party at its state headquarters here on Friday.

Malikayya Guttedar had won the Assembly elections from Afzalpur in Kalaburagi district six times on a Congress ticket between 1985 and 2013. The development is likely to boost Congress' position in the Kalaburagi region, which is the home turf of AICC President Mallikarjun Kharge.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, state Congress President and Deputy CM D.K. Shivakumar, and state minister Priyank Kharge, the son of Mallikarjun Kharge, welcomed Malikayya Guttedar into the party by handing him the party flag.

Speaking on the occasion, Shivakumar said, “Malikayya Guttedar decided to return to the party after speaking to AICC President Kharge. I have known him for more than 35 years. He has joined the Congress unconditionally.”

Malikayya Guttedar was reportedly miffed with the fact that he was not consulted before the BJP inducted his brother Nitin Guttedar into the party. Nitin Guttedar had contested the 2023 Assembly elections as an Independent candidate from Afzalpur, where he finished second behind Congress' M.Y. Patil, pushing Malikayya Guttedar to the third position.

On Tuesday, Malikayya Guttedar attacked Karnataka BJP President B.Y. Vijayendra and his father and former Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, saying the Congress came to power in the state last year only because of BJP's corruption.

After rejoining the party, the senior politician said he joined the Congress for its achievements and for the development of Kalaburagi district.

The Congress has fielded Radhakrishna Doddamani, the son-in-law of Mallikarjun Kharge, from the Gulbarga (Kalaburagi) Lok Sabha seat this time.- IANS

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