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Congress welcomes 'Ghar Wapsi' of 'Bombay Boys', BJP remains silent

Bengaluru, August 17: The dramatic return of the 'Bombay Boys' (referring to the Congress MLAs who went to Mumbai to topple the Congress-JDS coalition government) to the Congress fold has sparked a whirlwind of political intrigue in the state. While Congress leaders have indirectly expressed a warm reception to those returning 'home,' the BJP leadership has maintained a stoic silence. The episode has given rise to a major shift in the state's political landscape, with implications that could ripple beyond Bengaluru.

Congress welcomes 'Ghar Wapsi' of 'Bombay Boys', BJP remains silent
First Published Aug 17, 2023, 1:11 PM IST

The recent developments saw Rajarajeshwari Nagar MLA Muniratna, a former minister, leave the Congress to join the BJP during the fall of the JDS-Congress government. Muniratna, one of the 17 MLAs to make the switch, has confirmed he won't be returning to the Congress. While details about the other 16 remain undisclosed, Muniratna shared that he will not actively discourage anyone from joining the Congress.

The news of the 'ghar wapsi' of the 'Bombay Boys' created a flurry of excitement, prompting responses from several prominent leaders. Figures like KPCC President DK Shivakumar and Home Minister Dr G Parameshwar hinted at the possibility of a few politicians rejoining the Congress ranks to rectify past errors. Some leaders even emphasized the strategic value of such a return within the realm of Indian politics.

Amidst the frenzy, BJP leader CT Ravi refuted any speculation of BJP members switching to Congress. He categorically denied any suspicion over potential defections, dismissing the claims as baseless rumors.

Responding to the development, Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar, who also serves as the KPCC President, acknowledged the role of practical political considerations. He underlined the need for building alliances and gathering support to enhance party influence in preparation for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Shivakumar indicated that local leaders would decide on new entrants based on the strategic interests of the party.

Dr G Parameshwar, another prominent Congress figure, extended an open invitation to those who had moved to the BJP out of dissatisfaction. He suggested that individuals who shared the Congress ideology and leadership values could potentially return. While the door to reentry remains open, he humorously alluded that newcomers might not immediately secure a prominent position within the party hierarchy.

MP DK Suresh echoed the sentiment of welcoming those aligned with the party's principles. He highlighted that the decision ultimately rests with the party's higher command, emphasizing ideology compatibility as a key factor.

Minister of Kannada and Culture Department Shivraj Thangagi asserted that 'Bombay Boys' from both the BJP and JDS were well aware of their dimming prospects within their respective parties. Thangagi confidently claimed that no MLA from either party would choose to remain there, indicating the disillusionment among politicians with the prevailing state of affairs.
Are 'Bombay Boys' making a 'ghar wapsi' to Congress?

Former Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy's potential maneuvering appears restricted this time around, given Congress's sweeping victory and the diminishing avenues for political maneuvers. The victory, which saw Congress secure 136 seats, appears to have left Kumaraswamy in a frustrated state, struggling to influence the political discourse.

As the saga continues, the fate of the 'Bombay Boys' and the subsequent implications on the state's political landscape remain uncertain. While the Congress extends its welcome, the silence from the BJP and the practical considerations of local leaders will play pivotal roles in shaping the outcome of this intriguing political episode.

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