Hassan: Veteran Congress leader from Hassan, A Manju quit the Congress and joined the BJP on Monday. Manju had expressed his displeasure against the grand old party supporting the candidature of Prajwal Revanna from JDS in Hassan.

Manju is a former district in-charge minister and was expecting a ticket from Hassan Lok Sabha seat. But, according to the seat-sharing agreement between the Congress and JD(S), Hassan was given to the latter and this disappointed Manju.

Out of 28 constituencies, Congress has given eight seats to the JD(S) including Hassan.

Even the Congress members had opposed this move and said that they were fine with campaigning for a person like Deve Gowda from the JDS, but were not ready to support a novice (Deve Gowda's grandson) Prajwal.

Manju was welcomed into the BJP by Hassan MLA from the party, Preetham Gowda. It is likely that Manju will be fielded from the BJP against Prajwal in Hassan.

Meanwhile, Manju's entry into the BJP is said to have irked the district BJP president Yoga Ramesh, who gave the event a miss.

Ramesh was a Hassan BJP ticket aspirant. In fact, Manju was elected as MLA from Arakalgud in 1999 from the BJP. Manju joined the Congress in 2004, but lost the election that year. But, he was again given a ticket by the Congress and won in 2008 and 2013.

In 2013, Manju had won against Ramesh from Arakalgud. Ramesh had contested as an independent candidate. Both Ramesh and Manju got defeated by AT Ramaswamy of the JD(S) in the 2018 elections. Manju was in second position, pushing Ramesh to third.

Earlier, Manju had lashed out at Ramesh and called him a party hopper. The BJP leaders clarified that Ramesh has no problems with Manju.