Samajwadi Party MP and former Karnataka Chief Minister S Bangarappa resigned from Lok Sabha as well as the party and announced his plans to join the Congress.
“I have resigned from my Lok Sabha seat Shimoga as well as from the Samajwadi Party. I submitted my resignation to the Speaker and he has accepted it,” Bangarappa told reporters outside Parliament house.
The former Congress leader said he has sought an appointment with Congress chief Sonia Gandhi. He said that he decided to quit SP and join the Congress as he felt that BJP’s winning assembly election in Karnataka was “not a good sign and it’s high time all secular parties unite to defeat the communal forces”.
To a question whether he resigned from SP due to the recent bonhomie between that party and former UP Chief Minister Kalyan Singh,Bangarappa said,”This is not the reason”.
He declined to comment on whether his resignation from the SP will affect the alliance talks between Congress and Mulayam Singh Yadav-led party. “Such things happen. They will be sorted out,” he said.
Bangarappa maintained that even though he had quit the SP,Mulayam Singh Yadav and SP General Secretary Amar Singh were his “good friends”.
“While discussing UP with Sonia ji,Amar Singh ji incidentally discussed my matter. I should thank him for that,” he said.
On the views of Sonia Gandhi who had recently disapproved the politics of ‘aya ram-gaya ram’,Bangarappa said he did not think he came under that definition.
Bangarappa was in Congress for over three decades till he joined BJP in March 2004 and was elected on a BJP ticket from Shimoga the same year.
He,however,resigned and got re-elected from the seat in 2005 on a Samajwadi Party ticket after having joined the party that year.
He has represented the Shimoga seat four times. Bangarappa claimed that the state unit of the Congress had “unanimously” recommended to his candidature from the Shimoga seat in the coming Lok Sabha elections.
“Now the decision rests with the AICC. My decision is to contest the election as a Congress candidate. The ball is now in the court of party chief Sonia Gandhi,” he said.