Former Congress MLA Akhanda Srinivas Murthy joins BJP in Karnataka

National |  IANS  | Published :

Bengaluru, April 17 (IANS) The BJP received a major shot in the arm as Dalit leader Akhanda Srinivas Murthy -- former Congress MLA from Karnataka's Pulakeshinagar -- joined the party on Wednesday.

The Pulakeshinagar assembly comes under the Bengaluru North Lok Sabha constituency from where Union Minister Shobha Karandlaje is contesting.

Former chief minister B.S. Yediyurappa welcomed Akhanda Srinivasmurthy by handing over the BJP party’s flag to him at his residence in Bengaluru. “The joining of Akhanda at this stage of the election has given great strength to the party. Union Minister Shobha Karandlaje will win from Bengaluru North Lok Sabha seat by 2.5 lakh to 3 lakh votes,” he stated.

“When DJ Halli-KG Halli Hindu-Muslim violence took place in Bengaluru, the house of Akhanda Srinivas Murthy was burnt. At that time his own party Congress did not support him. We stood firmly with him,” Yediyurappa stated.

Yediyurappa reiterated that the party has strengthened its base with the joining of Akhanda Srinivas Murthy and his followers.

Bengaluru District President S. Harish stated, there is a war waged between ‘Dharma’ and ‘Adharma’. Akhanda Srinivas Murthy had joined BJP taking the side of ‘Dharma’.

Senior Congress leader Akhanda had contested the 2023 assembly election on a BSP ticket, following the denial of a ticket by the Congress party. Akhanda represented the Pulakeshinagar assembly segment for Congress from 2018 to 2023. He had secured the highest margin of votes in the state.

He represented the Pulakeshinagar Assembly seat for JD (S) between 2013 and 2018. Following the objectionable post on Prophet Muhammad, his constituency witnessed large-scale violence. The violent mob attacked and torched his house as the post was made by his nephew. The mob also torched KG Halli police station and burnt police vehicles. Three people were killed in the police firing.

Akhanda Srinivas Murthy was sidelined by the Congress party and denied a party ticket to contest the assembly election in 2023. Akhanda accused fellow Congress leader R. Sampath Raj of orchestrating an attack on his residence and violence. Later, Sampath Raj, a former mayor of Bengaluru city was arrested in the case.

Union Minister of State Shobha Karandlaje is contesting as a BJP candidate from Bengaluru North while the Congress party has fielded senior party leader, former Rajya Sabha member M.V. Rajeev Gowda from the seat.

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