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Karnataka BJP leader and former minister Malikayya Guttedar joins Congress

Bengaluru: Karnataka BJP leader and former minister Malikayya Guttedar joined the Congress party in the presence of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar and state minister Priyank Kharge on Friday.
The six-time MLA Malikayya Guttedar represented the Afzalpur assembly constituency in Kalaburagi district.
Guttedar has been reportedly upset with the induction of his brother Nithin Guttedar into the BJP.
He had finished at third place in the 2023 assembly elections, behind Nithin Guttedar who had contested as an independent candidate.
Welcoming Malikayya Guttedar into the party fold, CM Siddaramaiah said that his entry will not only strengthen the Congress party in Kalaburagi but in the entire Karnataka.
"Malikayya Guttedar is close to me. Due to some issues, he joined the BJP, but I knew he couldn't be there because he is an ardent advocate of social justice. His entry will make the Congress stronger not only in Kalaburagi but in the entire Karnataka," Siddaramaiah said.
The 67-year-old Malikayya Guttedar had been criticising BJP veteran and former Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa and his son BY Vijayendra who is BJP state president, after his brother's induction.
Kalaburagi is the home district of Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge, who won the seat in the 2009 and 2014 Lok Sabha elections but lost in the 2019 polls.
Karnataka's 28 seats will be contested in the second and third phases on April 26 and May 7.
In the 2019 elections, the Congress and JD-S alliance suffered a significant defeat, with the BJP securing a record 25 seats.
The counting of votes will be held on June 4.

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