Union Minister Smriti Irani on the exit of Jagadish Shettar from the BJP said that those who cannot be of their religion, family or ideology, can never be of the public.
On Tuesday, while addressing a public meeting in Dharwad, Smriti Irani said, "A few days ago one of our men (Jagadish Shettar) backstabbed us and went to the other camp (Congress). The public knows everything. I want to tell the people of Hubli-Dharwad that those who cannot be of their religion, family or ideology, can never be of the public."
She said that it was BJP who gave him respect but out of his own greed, he left the party.
"He is elder to us. We made him Chief Minister. Now I want to ask who is he playing number two to: Is it Shivakumar or Siddaramaiah? We respected him a lot. We brought him to the top and for his own greed he went to the other side," she said.
Former Karnataka Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, who joined the ranks of Congress ahead of the State Assembly polls, last week said he left the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as his self-respect was hurt.
Speaking to ANI, Shettar said, "Earlier whoever contested from this constituency (from BJP) everybody lost. I built the party here in this place. In 1994, I contested for the first time and also got elected. Subsequently, I have been re-elected from the seat. So it is pretty clear that the people have faith in me. I maintained the same relationship with the people of Hubballi."
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"My self-respect was damaged and because of this. I challenged them. After joining Congress, I went across areas in my constituency. People ushered warm welcome," he added.
Earlier Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday said that Jagdish Shettar, who recently left the BJP, "will lose the election" and asserted that Hubbali has always voted for BJP.
"There'll be no loss, Jagdish Shettar will himself lose the election, Huballii has always voted for BJP & all workers of BJP are united," Shah said at a press conference.
The Karnataka Assembly elections will be held in a single phase on May 10, with the counting of votes scheduled on May 13.
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