Bengaluru, Dec 6 (IANS): Senior BJP leader from Karnataka and former Minister V. Somanna is likely to make an important an announcement at a programme organised at the Siddaganga Math in Tumakuru district on Wednesday, which will be attended by Congress ministers.
Sources said that he is likely to jump ship to the Congress.
Somanna has built a Guru Bhavan at a cost of Rs 1 crore, dedicating it to the Math. Sources said that Somanna was using the occasion to showcase his strength in the backdrop of the saffron party snubbing him.
He was denied the post of state party president, and the high command had chosen former Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa’s son, BJP MLA B.Y. Vijayendra, for the post. Somanna had publicly urged the party to provide him with an opportunity to serve as the state president.
Somanna, a veteran Lingayat leader, was asked to contest from two constituencies in the Assembly elections. He contested against CM Siddaramaiah in the Varuna seat in Mysuru district and the Chamarajanagar city seat in Chamarajanagar district.
He suffered defeat in both seats. He had earlier represented the Govindarajanagar seat in Bengaluru. Later, he expressed his displeasure, stating that he felt crucified by the party leadership.
Somanna has invited Minister for Home Dr. G. Parameshwara and Minister for Cooperation K.N. Rajanna to the event, fueling speculation that he will announce his decision to join the Congress party.
Sources said that Somanna is leaving for New Delhi with disgruntled BJP MLAs Basanagouda Patil Yatnal, Arvind Bellad, and Ramesh Jarkiholi. Former minister and senior Dalit leader Arvind Limbavali is also joining them. They will meet BJP high command leaders to discuss their future in the party.
Deputy CM D.K. Shivakumar and Somanna hail from the same region and have a cordial relationship. Somanna was offered a plum posting before the Assembly elections to join the Congress party. Sources said that since he is opposed to former CM Yediyurappa, and the party is now giving him all the prominence, Somanna is seriously contemplating joining the Congress party.
Somanna is likely to contest the Lok Sabha elections from the Tumakuru seat on the Congress ticket, sources stated. Somanna played an important role in the victory of BJP's Tejasvi Surya from the Bengaluru South Parliamentary seat.