Joshi puts ball in BJP high command's court on BSY

Joshi puts ball in BJP high command's court on BSY

 The woo-Yeddyurappa campaign in the State BJP was taken a step forward on Thursday with State party president Pralhad Joshi telling a section of leaders, who want the former chief minister back into the party fold, that he would convey their views to the central leadership.

The BJP leaders, including former ministers Basavaraj Bommai, Umesh Katti, Murugesh Nirani, Aravind Limbavali, D N Jeevaraj, former Speaker K G Bopaiah and led by former chief minister D V Sadananda Gowda, met Joshi at the party headquarters in Bangalore and sought that it create a suitable platform to bring back Yeddyurappa to the party fold. Former deputy chief minister K S Eshwarappa was present at the party office, but did not attend the meeting.

The group told Joshi that Yeddyurappa’s return would boost the party’s prospects in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. The KJP had managed to secure 10 per cent of the votes in the Assembly polls within six months of its launch and had eaten into the BJP’s vote share, they said.

Joshi told the group that Yeddyurappa had quit the BJP on his own. Besides, Yeddyurappa was asked to step down from the chief minister’s post by the central leadership.

Speaking to reporters after the two-hour meeting, Joshi said, “I will convey the views expressed by the leaders to BJP president Rajnath Singh through party general secretary in charge of Karnataka Thawarchand Gehlot. The next course of action will depend on the central leadership’s decision”.  Further discussion on the issue is likely to be held at the party’s core committee meeting in Bangalore on June 29.

Party insiders said Eshwarappa and BJP national general secretary Ananth Kumar would oppose the re-entry of Yeddyurappa into the party at the core committee meeting. They also pointed out that Sadananda Gowda, who had spoken against Yeddyurappa several times, had started pitching for the former chief minister’s return to counter the growing influence of Ananth Kumar in the party.

BSY non-committal

KJP President B S Yeddyurappa remained non-committal on his return to the BJP. He said Umesh Katti and Basavaraj Bommai had spoken to him that they would be taking up the matter with the BJP leadership.

“Let them continue their efforts. I will continue to build the KJP,” Yeddyurappa said.

Sources close to Yeddyurappa said he would take a decision on his political future only after the Lok Sabha elections are announced. He would agree to return to the party fold if there are indications that the NDA would come to power, the sources said.

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