Umesh Katti quits JD-S to join BJP

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Bangalore, Aug 18 (UNI) The beleaguered Janata Dal (Secular) suffered another jolt when party legislator and former Minister Umesh Katti resigned from the Karnataka Assembly and announced his decision to join the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.

Mr Katti, elected to the Legislative Assembly from Hukkeri seat in the elections held in May this year, submitted his resignation letter to the Assembly Speaker Jagadish Shettar today.

Mr Shettar announced that he had accepted the resignation of Mr Katti.

Mr Katti said he was disgusted with the family politics played by former Prime Minister and JD(S) chief H D Deve Gowda and his sons.

Mr Katti is the sixth sitting legislator, including three from Congress, who quit their assembly seat and joined the BJP.

The state BJP has launched 'operation Kamala' to woo opposition into their fold with an eye to win more number of Lok Sabha seats in the upcoming elections. Some more legislators belonging to both JD(S) and the Congress were likely to desert their parties and join BJP.

Reacting to Mr Katti's resignation, former Chief Minister and JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy said ''Mr Katti's resignation will not have any adverse impact on the party. Doors are always open to those who want to go out disagreeing with the party's principles and at the same time we welcome those who agree with the party's ideologies.'' Welcoming to the party fold, BJP State President D V Sadananda Gowda said ''we are not forcing any legislators to join the BJP, but if they agree to adhere to the party's ideology and principles they are welcome to join the party as our doors are always open.'' UNI MSP MV RL AS1711

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