With polls around, can political migration be far away?

Bangalore, March 23: It has been a season of political migration in Karnataka as partymen at different levels are switching loyalties looking for greener pastures in the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls in a three-horse race.

Party hopping or homecoming in some cases and poaching on rivals have cut across all the three principal players, the ruling Congress, BJP and JDS.

The migration began with former Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa's homecoming to BJP after merging his Karnataka Janatha Paksha, almost a year after he floated his new outfit.

It was a mutually beneficial development for both Yeddyurappa, who in the May 2013 Assembly polls, had played spoilsport to BJP, which also was eager to ensure that the votes were not split in the Lok Sabha polls. The changing of parties gathered momentum after the schedule for the Lok Sabha polls were announced with the state going to elections on April 17.

JDS headed by former Prime Minister H D Devegowda has been playing a predatory role, waiting for an opportunity to take disgruntled elements from other parties into its fold, a reason that explains delay in releasing its candidates list.

In the latest development, Congress veteran Jaffer Sharief has given strong indications of joining JDS after he was denied the ticket to contest from Bangalore Central.

Congress has made placatory moves to retain Sharief, an eight time Lok Sabha member, but so far in vain, even as JDS is planning to field him from Mysore, a move that might hurt the ruling party.

JDS also wooed Mahima Patel, son of former Chief Minister, late J H Patel, capitalising on his discontent after being denied ticket to contest the Lok Sabha polls by Congress from Davangere constituency.

His desire is now fulfilled with JDS fielding him from Davangere.


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