Political developments in Karnataka have taken an interesting turn with senior JD(S) leader, AT Ramaswamy, joining the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) just over a month ahead of the state elections. Ramaswamy, a four-time MLA from Arkalugud in Hassan district, joined the BJP in the presence of Union Minister Anurag Thakur on April 1, 2023, just a day after resigning from the JD(S).
Ramaswamy cited his admiration for the way the BJP is working and his desire to serve the people as his reasons for joining the party. However, he also acknowledged that he had been a victim of money power as he had always spoken out against irregularities and corruption. With no conditions attached, Ramaswamy’s entry into the BJP has come as a boost to the party, which is seeking to retain power in the state.
However, the BJP has also lost a leader in the form of NY Gopalakrishna, who resigned as an MLA on March 31. Gopalakrishna was earlier a part of the Congress party and was elected from the Molakalmuru Assembly four times. He joined the BJP in 2018 after failing to get a ticket from the Congress party and contested from Kudligi, where he won with a considerable margin.
According to certain reports, Gopalakrishna has recently met with senior state members of the Karnataka Congress, including Siddaramaiah and DK Shivakumar, indicating that he may be considering a return to his former party. While this may come as a setback to the BJP, it remains to be seen how this will impact the political landscape in Karnataka in the run-up to the elections.