Belagavi : President of the Karnataka BJP B Y Vijayendra on Thursday referred to the attendance of three legislators from his party at a dinner hosted by the Congress following its Legislature Party meeting here as a “serious matter” and said he would ask them to explain themselves.
Deputy Chief Minister and President of the State Congress, D K Shivakumar, stated that the lawmakers only came to the dinner on Wednesday night at his invitation and did not take part in any meetings. The trio consists of MLC H Vishwanath and MLAs S T Somashekar and Shivaram Hebbar. The three lawmakers, who are former ministers, who showed up for the dinner sparked curiosity and added to rumors that they may be considering joining the ruling Congress before the Lok Sabha elections in 2024. Since the party’s defeat in the May Assembly elections, they had been open about how unhappy they were with the BJP and its internal issues.
The three were part of the 17 Congress-JD(S) lawmakers who defected to the BJP in 2019, which helped the BJP take power and caused the H D Kumaraswamy-led government to fall. Hebbar and Somashekar served as ministers in the previous BJP administration. Hebbar and Somashekar had defected from the Congress party to join the BJP. Originally from Congress, Vishwanath served as the state chief of JD(S) before joining the BJP in 2019. “This morning, I learned about it. “It’s a serious matter, I will discuss with them today itself,” Vijayendra told reporters here. “I will talk to them today itself, I will discuss what their intention is.”
Shivakumar said: “I had separately hosted a dinner, for which certain other party leaders were also invited, so they (Somashekar, Hebbar), also Vishwanath, and others, about ten people had come.” Speaking to reporters here, he said: “why will they come to the Congress legislature party meeting ? They are not our party legislators. They did not come to the legislature party meeting, they had only come for dinner.”