BJP's Karnataka unit in favour of BSR-Cong merger

BJP's Karnataka unit in favour of BSR-Cong merger

BJP's Karnataka unit in favour of BSR-Cong merger

Notwithstanding reservations expressed by senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj, BJP's Karnataka unit is pushing for merger of BSR Congress headed by B Sriramulu with it.

"BSR Congress has announced its decision on merger with BJP. We have requested the central leadership to allow us to respond positively," state unit chief Prahlad Joshi told reporters here.

Joshi said Swaraj has voiced her reservations but the party had not taken a final decision. BJP national president Rajnath Singh would take the final call, he said.

Sriramulu, once a close associate of mining baron from Bellary district Janardhan Reddy, who had wielded big clout in the BJP when it was in power in the state, had recently announced the merger decision.

But his move, fully endorsed by the state BJP, had hit a roadblock after Swaraj resisted it, apparently to dissociate herself from Reddy, who was once considered close to her after she contested unsuccessfully from Bellary against Congress president Sonia Gandhi in the 1999 polls.

Joshi said the party today finalised the list of eight more candidates for Lok Sabha polls, which would be considered by the Central Election Committee tomorrow. The first list of 20 candidates was released last week.

The list included constituencies which have turned out to be tricky for the party in selecting its candidates in view of its strongman and former Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa pushing for the case of some of his supporters.

Yeddyurappa is pressing for G S Basavaraju from Tumkur, Shobha Karandlaje from Chikkamagalur and Suryakant Nagmarpalli from Bidar.

The Lingayat strongman who merged his Karnataka Janatha Paksha with BJP, has also shot off a letter to Rajnath Singh, seeking proper political accommodation for some of his KJP followers who have been left in the lurch with strong opposition to their entry.