To mollify Krishna, BJP offers ticket to his kin


DHNS

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The BJP on Tuesday offered to field a member of veteran S M Krishna’s family in the polls, in an effort to placate the former chief minister who is said to have threatened to quit the party for "neglecting" him. Krishna, a Vokkaliga, who was chief minister from 1999 to 2004, quit the Congress in January this year and formally joined the BJP in March. He did so claiming the Congress was "in a state of confusion" on whether it needed mass leaders or not. Since joining the BJP, Krishna, 85, has only been seen during a Parivartana Yatra in Mandya (January) and then at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally in Bengaluru (February).

"If Krishna’s family members are willing to contest, the BJP is ready to give the ticket to any Assembly seat in either Mandya or Bengaluru," BJP leader and former deputy chief minister R Ashoka told reporters. Krishna has two daughters - Shambhavi, who is married to liquor baron Vijay Mallya’s stepbrother and Malavika, married to businessman V G Siddhartha. It may be recalled that Krishna had considered fielding Shambhavi in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls. Ashoka stressed that Krishna was not leaving the BJP. "He is not in India right now, but I spoke to a friend of his. Krishna will come back on April 13 and we will discuss the election with him. Cent per cent, Krishna will not leave. He is committed to strengthen the party." Ashoka also took potshots at the Congress. "I’ve seen in the media Congress shedding crocodile tears. When Krishna left them, no one shed a tear. Today, knowing they will lose the election, Congress is feeling the need for a leader like Krishna. I congratulate the Congress for the wisdom has finally dawned on them," he said.

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