Karnataka: Congress dealt big blow as former chief minister SM Krishna joins BJP

The Congress party has been dealt a major blow in Karnataka, with former chief minister SM Krishna defecting to the BJP. The senior leader announced his decision at a press conference on Wednesday. Flanked by BJP president Amit Shah, Krishna said he had resigned from the Congress in January, as he felt the party "didn't need him".

File image of SM Krishna. PTI

File image of SM Krishna. PTI

Krishna, 84, is a former external affairs minister and was part of the Manmohan Singh government for a long time. He had moved to Karnataka in 2012, to help the Congress party reorganise its structure in the southern state, and had also helped it clinch a win in the 2013 Assembly election.

Even today, Karnataka remains one of the last bastions the Congress still retains, after a spate of BJP wins across the country all but obliterated the party across India.

Karnataka will have Assembly elections in 2018, and Krishna's defection to BJP is being seen as a major coup by the saffron alliance, which was in power in the state before 2013 as well. Krishna's switch might be crucial as he may play an important role in the upcoming election.

He is said to have been miffed with the state government after being overlooked for key posts and incumbent CM Siddaramaiah's refusal to consult him on critical issues. "I felt for some time that Congress doesn't need me, the party now depends on situation managers. They do not want time-tested leaders and workers," he had said, at the time of quitting the Congress.

On Wednesday, after senior BJP leaders unveiled him, Krishna praised the leadership provided by Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Mar 22, 2017 18:27 PM

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