Sriramulu rejoins BJP

Sriramulu rejoins BJP

Sriramulu rejoins BJP

BJP today inducted BSR Congress Chief B Sriramulu back into its fold after its top brass decided to allow his entry, but not his party's merger following public opposition by its leader Sushma Swaraj.

Sriramulu, who left BJP in November 2011 and formed his own outfit, was once a close aide of mining baron Janardhana Reddy, now in jail in Andhra Pradesh over an illegal mining case.

"...Sriramulu has rejoined the party today, Karnataka BJP wholeheartedly welcomes him; all necessary legal procedures will follow," state BJP president Prahalad Joshi told reporters here.

Sriramulu's homecoming came a day after BJP Parliamentary Board disfavoured the merger but decided to field him as candidate on the party ticket for the Bellary Lok Sabha seat.

BSR Congress had declared its decision on merger but it ran into trouble after Swaraj publicly opposed his and mining baron Reddy brothers' entry into BJP, saying such "tainted" leaders should not be allowed to be associated with the party.

Speaking to reporters after his induction, Sriramulu said, "...I have returned to the party as per the wish of all senior party leaders, I am here with an intention to make a true patriot (Modi) the Prime Minister of India..."

"Country's economic situation has deteriorated; our security is in bad shape... at this juncture we should overcome all our selfish motives and work for the county, and make Narendra Modi our PM. So I have returned to my mother party."

He said he floated his outfit the day he felt his self respect was hurt "but today nothing is more important than the country... we will have to work towards making Modi PM."

When reminded that he was opposed by Swaraj whom he used to call mother, he said, "She is like my mother. She will continue to remain so. We will continue to respect her as mother."

Sriramulu, who wields influence over the Valmiki community, is expected to give incremental value to BJP in the districts of Bellary, Gadag, Koppal and Chitradurga. BSR Congress won four Assembly seats in the May 8 polls last year.

Asked about the merger, the status of MLAs and also about Sriramulu resigning as legislator, former Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar said all formalities would be completed after consulting legal experts.