BJP to expedite BSY return

BJP to expedite BSY return

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) central leadership is set to expedite return of former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa to the party fold once the Assembly election results are out.

The BJP state unit has conveyed to party national president Rajnath Singh and other top brass that it was not averse to the re-induction of Yeddyurappa into the party, to boost its prospects in the 2014 general election. The central leadership had indicated that it would take up the matter after the completion of Assembly elections in four states and in Delhi.

According to party sources, Singh is likely to invite Yeddyurappa to New Delhi for discussion anytime after the completion of the counting of votes in the five Assemblies (December 8). The BJP, which hopes to win in at least three states, wants to use its “winning streak” as a bargaining chip in the negotiations with Yeddyurappa.

BJP central leaders, however, have made it clear that they are open only to a merger of the two parties (the Karnataka Janata Party, or the KJP has six members in the Assembly) and not a poll alliance.

Sources said the party central leadership was convinced that getting Yeddyurappa back into the BJP fold would improve the party’s prospects in the Lok Sabha elections. In the recent Karnataka Assembly poll, the KJP had secured 10 per cent votes, which is believed to be the BJP vote share.

Besides, a merger of the two parties will raise the BJP’s strength in the Assembly to 46, enabling it to wrest the position of principal opposition party from the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) in the House.

The JD-S and BJP have 40 MLAs each now. The JD-S got the principal opposition party status due to its higher vote share.

On his part, Yeddyurappa is playing his cards very close to his chest. Sources close to the former chief minister said Yeddyurappa was apprehensive of the BJP making use of his political clout in the next Lok Sabha elections and then sidelining him.

Yeddyurappa bargaining for the post of the leader of the opposition in the Assembly is not ruled out. He is also likely to seek the induction of his key followers, who were unsuccessful in the last Assembly polls fighting on a KJP ticket, into the BJP.

However, there is opposition in the KJP to the merger move. Two KJP MLAs,  B R Patil and Gurupadappa Nagamarapalli, are understood to have told Yeddyurappa that they will not support the merger. Even if just three of the total six KJP legislators back Yeddyurappa, that is two-thirds of the elected members of his party, the merger can happen and it will not attract anti-defection provisions.

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