Congress ex-leader S.M. Krishna joins BJP

New Delhi, March 22 Former Congress leader S.M. Krishna on Wednesday joined the BJP, calling it “very important stop in my onward journey”.

The former Karnataka Chief Minister heaped praise on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying “a great India is emerging under his leadership”.

Krishna formally became a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party in the presence of party President Amit Shah. He left the Congress earlier, saying he was feeling neglected.

“It has been a great journey and I have landed at very important stop in my onward journey in the nation’s service. I am feeling grateful on joining the BJP. Now, a great India is emerging under the Prime Minister’s leadership, ably supported by Amit Shah,” he told the media here.

Referring to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Krishna said he had been “associated with the great leadership of the BJP” when he was the Chief Minister of Karnataka from 1999 to 2004.

Krishna was also the Indian External Affairs Minister.

The development could help strengthen BJP election campaign for the Karnataka assembly elections due next year.

The BJP has been struggling to make inroads in south Karnataka, where Krishna is an influential leader among the dominant Vokkaliga community.

Speaking on the occasion, Shah called Krishna “an asset for the country”.

“He has played various important roles in his long public life. He served in various capacities, be it MLA, MP or Chief Minister or External Affairs Minister or Governor. His entry (into BJP) will increase our power in Karnataka,” Shah said.

Shah said Krishna’s decision to join the party was in tune with the country’s ongoing transformation and BJP’s increasing acceptance across India.

Three Union Ministers from Karnataka – Ananth Kumar, Sadananda Gowda and Ramesh Jigajinagi- – were among those present.

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