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Brijesh Kalappa joins AAP, hits out at Congress for not giving ‘leadership post’ in 25 yrs

Kalappa had terminated his association with the Congress after 25 years in May. He was a prominent face of the party in Karnataka and claims to have appeared on 6,497 TV debates.

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New Delhi: Former Karnataka Congress leader Brijesh Kalappa, who was a well-known face of the party on TV channels, joined the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Monday, saying that he was never considered for a “leadership position” in the party despite serving it for 25 years.

The AAP’s anti-corruption agenda “fits his profile”, Kalappa told ThePrint, adding: “If I have to work as a party worker, I would rather work with the AAP”.

Kalappa, who is a Supreme Court advocate, had resigned from the Congress on 30 May, citing his “lack of energy and enthusiasm” towards the party – even though he emphasised how he participated in as many as 6,497 debates for the Congress in various English, Hindi and Kannada channels since 2013.

Kalappa – who joined the Congress in 1997 and eventually served as a legal adviser to the Siddaramaiah-led government in Karnataka – had started his career as a journalist around 30 years ago. After a brief stint in the media, he started practising law in New Delhi under mentorship of former Congress leader Kapil Sibal. Notably, Sibal too resigned from the Congress in May and got a Rajya Sabha ticket with support of the Samajwadi Party.

Kalappa’s joining AAP comes at a time when the Arvind Kejriwal-led party has been trying to expand its footprints across other states, after clinching victory in Punjab in March.

Karnataka goes to the assembly polls next year. AAP also plans to contest the Bengaluru civic polls later this year.

“I have spent 25 years in the Congress. But I remained a party worker. I was never given a leadership position, even though I am a reputed advocate and have served the party with utmost sincerity,” said Kalappa, in a phone conversation with ThePrint after joining AAP on Monday.

The leader – who describes himself as an “eternal activist and Gandhian” on Twitter – further said: “If I have to work as a party worker, I would rather work with the AAP. Their anti-corruption ideology fits my profile. Our main opponent in Karnataka is the BJP.”

Kalappa’s induction in AAP comes about six months after former Bengaluru police commissioner Bhaskar Rao joined the party in April and popular Kannada actor and former member of the Karnataka legislative council HN Chandrashekhar – popularly known as Mukhyamantri Chandru – joined in June after quitting the Congress.

Reacting to Kalappa joining AAP, the party’s Karnataka in-charge Dilip Pandey told ThePrint, “We shall contest polls in Karnataka with two main planks – development and anti-corruption. Mr Brijesh Kalappa will be an asset for the AAP.”

Also read: AAP’s promises of free power & aid to women could cost debt-ridden Punjab Rs 20,600 cr/year


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