Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Monday made a public request to former external affairs minister S M Krishna to reconsider his decision to quit the Congress, even as Krishna remained resolute about leaving the party after a 46-year association. “My appeal is that he should not leave the Congress at this stage. He should withdraw his resignation in the interest of the party and the state,’’ Siddaramaiah said. “SM Krishna has been in the Congress for a long time. He has held various positions, including that of the chief minister, Union minister, party president, Governor and assembly speaker. He is a respected politician,’’ he added.
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The veteran leader’s sudden decision to quit Congress has taken many people by surprise and there are concerns in some sections of the state party unit that the veteran could attract dissidents if he joins another party. Former state Congress chief Janardhana Poojary blamed Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s “arrogance’’ for Krishna’s exit, which he labelled “a big loss” to the party.
Meanwhile, state BJP chief and former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa has stated that he would invite 85-year-old Krishna to join the BJP. “It is our natural wish that he come along with us. Let us see what he decides. I am ready to welcome him to the party. If he comes, it will add to our strength,” Yeddyurappa said.
A member of the dominant Vokkaliga community in south Karnataka, former chief minister Krishna is seen as someone who can give the BJP some weightage in a region where it lags behind the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) in popularity.
Krishna has denied the possibility of his joining the BJP following overtures of several party leaders and has called rumours rumours of his aspiration for the post of the vice president of India absurd.
On Sunday, Krishna announced his exit from the Congress party and accused the party of neglecting him on account of his age.