Shettar Ghar Wapsi aimed at boosting BJP morale ahead of LS polls

While Shettar's individual influence in the region may not be a game-changer for BJP, his return holds broader implications for the party

Mangaluru: Former Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, who parted ways with the BJP nine months ago to join the Congress, made a surprising return to the BJP fold on Thursday.

This 'Ghar Vapsi' of Shettar, a seasoned BJP leader who held various positions during his tenure, is being viewed as a strategic move akin to 'Operation Kamala.'

While Shettar's individual influence in the region may not be a game-changer for BJP, his return holds broader implications for the party, resonating among party workers, dissatisfied leaders within both BJP and Congress.

Despite questions surrounding the necessity of Shettar's return to BJP, insiders argue that his inclusion is a strategic move ahead of the upcoming Parliament elections.

The BJP had already triumphed over Shettar in the 2023 elections, with Mahesh Tenginakai securing a substantial victory margin of 34,289. Hence, Shettar's comeback is perceived to carry a calculated political strategy.

Shettar, belonging to a family with close ties to RSS and Jan Sangh, has been a BJP MLA since 1994, serving in various capacities, including Chief Minister of Karnataka. His return to BJP in New Delhi, rather than Bengaluru, adds an intriguing element to this political development.

While Shettar had left BJP due to unhappiness over not being fielded in the 2023 elections, his reentry is seen as a move that could influence the Lingayat community, a significant voter base. Sources indicate that a faction within BJP advocated for Shettar's return, while his supporters were discontented with the treatment they received in Congress locally.

Shettar's comeback is likened to 'Operation Kamala,' albeit with differences, as he openly attacked BJP and joined Congress just nine months ago. BJP's success in bringing him back, despite Congress being in power, underscores the party's resilience and aims to project strength.

The move is perceived as a demonstration of the BJP's enduring influence, even in a state where the Congress holds power. This strategic maneuver is expected to boost party morale and potentially dissuade dissatisfied leaders from leaving.

Shettar's return is also seen as a part of damage control following allegations of party's negligence towards the community during the 2023 elections.

The resignation of Yediyurappa from CM post and the non-candidacy of Shettar were portrayed as a manifestation of BJP's perceived neglect toward the Lingayat community.

The 2023 elections saw Congress securing the majority of seats in Lingayat strongholds, prompting concerns within the BJP about potential distancing of the community from the party. To address this, the party has taken steps such as appointing Yediyurappa's son as the state unit president, and the return of Shettar is viewed as a strategic move for damage control.

Shettar's reentry is also anticipated to pacify discontent within the party, discouraging leaders from contemplating quitting. This development also sends a broader message that BJP can attract dissatisfied individuals from Congress.

While the impact of Shettar's return on the party's electoral prospects remains uncertain, it serves to bolster the confidence of party workers.

The reentry of leaders who had previously opposed the party signals internal strength and may dissuade further defections, potentially reigniting discussions about a renewed 'Operation Kamala.'

The BJP which had won 25 out of the 28 parliament seats in Karnataka aims to increase its number in the forthcoming election.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
Next Story