However he was given a cold shoulder by party president Uddhav Thackeray.
Former Congress MLA Krishna Hegde has quit Congress party to join BJP ahead of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation polls scheduled to be held next month. Hegde has taken this decision as he was unhappy with functioning of MRCC president Sanjay Nirupam. Earlier Hegde was keen to join Shiv Sena but he was given a cold shoulder by party president Uddhav Thackeray. Hegde even approached some journalists for seeking an appointment with Uddhav but the latter refused to meet him. Later, he changed his mind to join BJP.
There have been several instances where leaders have quit their own party to join rival parties. Even Hegde too has taken similar step and he can be termed as an opportunist politician and switched loyalties. According to political analysts, Krishna’s entry into BJP won’t make any difference to the party. Hegde has not done any substantial work during his tenure in the Congress and he was merely known as the PR of the party. Even Bollywood actor Dalip Tahil has joined BJP.
When asked about the reason behind his exit from Congress party Hegde said, “I am unhappy with the autocratic behaviour of Sanjay Nirupam. I tried to point out to party leadership about how Nirupam was damaging the party. However, no cognisance was taken of my plea,” Hegde, who represented Vile Parle Assembly constituency said.
“I am a second generation Congressman. Nirupam has ruined the party. Congress won’t get more than 25 of the total 227 seats in the BMC polls,” he said.
Hegde and Tahil had met Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Sunday. Later they were officially inducted into the party. Even Raosaheb Danve and Ashish Shelar were present on this occasion.
“Those who worked against the party in the Assembly elections are being favoured, while loyalists are sidelined. If the party does not want my services, it is better that I quit,” said Hegde.
Senior Congress leader Gurudas Kamat alleged that party’s Mumbai unit chief Sanjay Nirupam and AICC general secretary in-charge of Maharashtra Mohan Prakash were “deliberately driving out” partymen at a time when Rahul Gandhi is busy with Uttar Pradesh elections. “Sad to see second generation Congressmen forced to leave the party due to Nirupam and Mohan Prakash’s behaviour. Rahul Gandhi and Ahmed Patel must stop the bleed,” Kamat tweeted.
“Ex-MLA Krishna Hegde quits Congress to join the BJP. No attempt to stop him or others who left from Nirupam’s own constituency North Mumbai,” he posted.
On the other hand, Sanjay Nirupam refuted all the allegations made against him and said, “We have formed committee for selection of candidates for the BMC election. Priya Dutt had selected certain candidates who are likely to be issued tickets but Hegde raised objections against them. Those leaders who have quit Congress must note that senior leaders are working for the development of the party.”
Hegde was elected to the Assembly in 2009. He was defeated by BJP MLA Parag Alvani in the 2014 Assembly elections.