Hubballi: Taking the wind out of the sails of the BJP, which has claimed that Dharwad Zilla Panchayat member, Yogesh Gouda was killed by loyalists of Mines and Geology Minister, Vinay Kulkarni, the late BJP leader’s wife, Mallamma, announced on Saturday that she was joining the Congress.
In a complete turnaround, Mallamma has also lodged a complaint with the Karnataka State Women’s Commission against her father-in-law, brother-in-law and a few BJP leaders, who had stood by her in her fight to demand action against her husband’s killers. Mallamma had gone missing since Thursday night amidst rumours that she was abducted by Congress leaders. Her in-laws had alleged that Mr Kulkarni was forcing her to join the Congress. But Mallamma suddenly appeared before the media in Bengaluru on Saturday and rubbished all speculation that she was kidnapped by Congressmen and alleged that her in-laws and and some BJP leaders were harassing her.
Accusing them of politicising the death of her husband, she demanded protection. “The reports of Congress leaders abducting me are false as I was in hospital being treated for some health issues. I am joining the Congress of my own free will as I am confident that CM Siddaramaiah will provide me justice by nabbing the killers of my husband. No one has pressured me. I am a well qualified woman and can take my own decisions. I will return to my village only after meeting the CM and joining the Congress as he is like a father figure from our Kuruba community,” Mallamma said. Reacting to her volte face, BJP leader Jagadish Shettar and Yogesh Gouda’s brother, Gurunath accused Congress leaders of forcing Mallamma to join their party. Mr Shettar also demanded a CBI investigation into Yogesh Gouda's murder.