Former Karnataka minister and disgruntled Congress leader Srinivas Prasad on Monday joined the Karnataka unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party. The Dalit leader joins the party at a time when the state is months away from assembly polls. His induction has come as added strength to the BJP that has always been looked upon as an anti-Dalit party. The Nanjangud strongman quit the Congress party after he was removed from the ministry by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah in 2016. The disgruntled leader had series of meetings with Janata Dal-Secular and the BJP post his resignation before he made his decision to join the BJP.
Srinivas Prasad was inducted into the BJP under the leadership of party's state president and former Karnataka chief minister B S Yeddyurappa. Union ministers D V Sadananda Gowda and Ananthkumar were also present as the BJP flag was handed over to Srinivas Prasad. Many of his followers are also expected to join the BJP following his induction. The BJP called his induction a sign of Dalits, minorities and backward classes' increasing support for the party.
Prasad, once a close aide of Siddaramaiah is from the same district as the CM. His resignation has left the Nanjangud assembly constituency seat vacant. Prasad who enjoys a massive following in the constituency is expected to be BJP's candidate in the by-poll while congress is yet to decide on a candidate. Their initial choice, minister Mahadevappa's son, is said to have backed out. The Nanjangud by-poll is touted to be testing waters for the assembly by-poll that will be held in Karnataka in a little over a year.