Question mark over fate of two KJP legislators

The possibility of the merger of the KJP with the BJP has left at least two KJP MLAs in dilemma on whether or not they should follow in the footsteps of their leader B S Yeddyurappa. They will not be comfortable in a party with Narendra Modi as the leader, though they do not have problems with the BJP.

 Sources in the BJP said there was no doubt left about Yeddyurappa coming back to his parent party. But the date is yet to be fixed. The party is also sure that all the six KJP MLAs would support the decision taken by Yeddyurappa. However, sources in the KJP said Aland MLA B R Patil and Bidar MLA Gurupadappa Nagamarapalli were not willing to accept the decision of their party president.
The merger can happen provided two-thirds of the KJP’s members in the Assembly – four out of the total six - join the BJP. As of now, Guru Patil, MLA from Shahapur, U B Banakar (Hirekerur), Vishwanath Patil (Bailahongal) have accepted the decision taken by Yeddyurappa. However, B R Patil is apprehensive of joining the BJP because he is said to be of the view that people of his constituency may not support him. A number of voters belonging to the minority communities had supported him in the last elections.
Patil, having been in the Janata Parivar for a long time, is not comfortable joining the BJP headed by Modi, it is said. At some stage in his political career, he had explored the possibility of joining the BJP. But at that time, Modi was not projected as the prime ministerial candidate.

He had so far maintained a distance from the BJP and the Congress. He will be isolated if he strikes a different chord, though he will remain an independent MLA. He is studying the legal implications, in case Yeddyurappa dissolves the KJP, it is said.
Former minister Nagamarapalli left the BJP to join the KJP as he had serious differences with certain leaders of the BJP. Even for him, rejoining the BJP is not easy. If the KJP gets divided, it will not be easy for Yeddyurappa to merge his party with the BJP. However, BJP is sure that such a situation will not arise as the KJP MLAs, for their own good, will eventually accept their leader’s decision. 
The KJP is scheduled to hold its executive meeting on December 9, where Yeddyurappa may announce his decision on the merger. The BJP’s strength will go up in the Assembly once the merger happens and it will become the principal opposition party, replacing the JD(S). At present senior BJP leader and former chief minister Jagadish Shettar is the party’s floor leader.

KJP leaders said that the BJP, keeping the Lok Sabha elections in view, may not impose too many conditions for the merger. If the merger talks fail, KJP will field candidates for the Lok Sabha elections. This would only lead to division of votes, like in the last Assembly elections, sources said.

None of the KJP or BJP leaders was ready to be quoted by the media on the ongoing developments. Yeddyurappa evaded the media, after attending the House for some time on Friday morning.

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