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Belgaum Puts Brakes on Shiv Sena’s Journey into Karnataka With Pramod Muthalik

Pramod Muthalik, who shot to fame after his followers attacked a pub in Mangaluru in 2009, is miffed with the BJP after his attempts to join the party were repeatedly thwarted as the state leadership felt he would be a huge liability.

D P Satish | CNN-News18dp_satish

Updated:November 29, 2017, 4:19 PM IST
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Belgaum Puts Brakes on Shiv Sena’s Journey into Karnataka With Pramod Muthalik
With just 5-6 months left for the state elections, Pramod Muthalik is once again exploring the possibility of introducing Shiv Sena to Karnataka.
Bengaluru: The faction-ridden Karnataka BJP has one more thing to worry about. Its oldest partner and the current headache, Shiv Sena, is trying to enter the poll-bound state and has already found an able partner in Sri Rama Sene founder and radical Hindutva leader Pramod Muthalik.

Muthalik, who shot to fame after his followers attacked a pub in Mangaluru in 2009, is miffed with the BJP after his attempts to join the party were repeatedly thwarted as the state leadership felt he would be a huge liability.

With just 5-6 months left for the state elections, Muthalik is once again exploring the possibility of introducing Shiv Sena to Karnataka. In 2004, Muthalik was appointed as Karnataka Sena chief but he had quit the party in just 24 hours over Belgaum issue.

The Shiv Sena, which has threatened to quit the NDA several times, sent its health minister in Maharashtra, Deepak Sawanth, to Bengaluru to discuss a launch in the state. Muthalik is likely to meet Uddhav Thackeray to officially join the Shiv Sena in a day or two

However, like last time, the vexed issue of Belgaum has come in their way. In Wednesday’s meeting at a hotel in Bengaluru, Muthalik requested the Maharashtra minister not to raise the Belgaum issue. Sawanth insisted on including Belgaum in Shiv Sena’s agenda. When Muthalik refused to include it, an angry Sawanth walked out of the meeting in protest.

Speaking to News18, the ultra-Hindutva icon, who is facing over 70 criminal cases, said, “Muthalik is Hindutva. Shiv Sena is here to back us. They are not here to do politics. The BJP has failed the Hindus. It is only interested in votes”.

Pramod

According to insiders, former BJP Union minister B R Patil Yatnal from Bijapur (Vijayapura) is also interested in launching Shiv Sena in Karnataka ahead of the Assembly polls. Yatnal was suspended from the BJP for anti-party activities. Even though state BJP chief B S Yeddyurappa is keen on getting him back into the party fold, other top leaders have vehemently opposed it.

Muthalik had contested against Congress’ Nandan Nilekani and BJP’s Ananthkumar from Bengaluru South Lok Sabha seat in 2014 and polled a few hundred votes. In 2013, the BJP was forced to sack him just a few hours after he was formally inducted into the party. Finance minister Arun Jaitley had described it as a mistake. After that, an angry Muthalik had famously called the BJP Bharatiya “Jesus” Party.

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| Edited by: Huma Tabassum
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