Yeddyurappa party's merger with BJP recognised by Speaker

Yeddyurappa party's merger with BJP recognised by Speaker

BJP is set to be accorded the status of principal Opposition party in the Karnataka Legislative Assembly with Speaker Kagodu Thimappa today announcing his decision to recognise the merger of B S Yeddyurappa-led KJP with it.

The Speaker announced his decision in the House based on the letters received from Yeddyurappa and state unit BJP leaders, after Governor H R Bhardwaj's customary address to joint session of the state legislature.

Thimappa said he had taken note of the letters and accordingly accepted Yeddyurappa, U B Banakar, Gurupadappa Nagmarpalli and Vishwanath Patil as BJP members following the merger.

Four of the six KJP MLAs had given letters, thereby fulfiling the relevant conditions under the anti-defection law, paving the way for accepting the merger, he said.

Two other KJP MLAs B R Patil and Guru Patil have refused to follow in the footsteps of Yeddyurappa, the Lingayat strongman, despite good equations with him.

The KJP's merger has raised the BJP's tally in the 224-member House to 44, four more than that of JDS, which will now lose the status of principal Opposition with former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy as its leader.

The Speaker is expected to accord BJP the status of principal Opposition tomorrow, as the party is yet to announce its leader but in all likelihood it would be former Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar.

KJP had merged with BJP recently, a little more than a year after Yeddyurappa had parted company with his parent party with his removal as Chief Minister in July 2012 over Lokayukta findings on illegal mining triggering his exit.

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