Kundapur: As former CM Yeddyurappa was set to take over as the president of the state unit of the BJP on Apr 14, the print media and Kannada news TV channels were abuzz about his keenness to bring back into the fold the old stalwarts who had drifted away for various reasons.
Haladi Srinivas Shetty, who has a reputation for being a gentleman politician and is known as ‘Mr Clean’ in comparative politics, is one of them.
Once earlier, Yeddyurappa had paid a visit to Shetty’s house and persuaded him to return to the BJP. But there was no success.
But a lot depends on Shetty’s supporters who are still feeling hurtful about the way he was treated when the BJP was in power.
When the Shettar cabinet was formed, he was asked to come to Bengaluru to swear in, but after reaching there he was told that he would not be in the team.
A majority of people in and around Kundapur, irrespective of party affiliations, took it as an insult to ‘Kundapra’ culture and ethos.
They thought that just because Shetty was mild and soft-spoken, he was taken for granted. He was reportedly left out also because the party wanted to keep another community pleased and gave a cabinet slot to it.
When, out of righteous indignation, Shetty resigned and contested again as an independent, the voters of the Kundapur constituency, with a vengeance, ensured his win.
Haladi’s supporters say that the hurt caused by the insult is very deep and irreparable. Now, on being asked about his plans, he has said that he had not yet decided to join the BJP in spite of Yeddyurappa’s statements.
But he said that he had great respect for BSY. During his tenure as former chief minister had done a lot for the poor.
He added that he was just continuing to work as an independent legislator based on the concept of social justice.