The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will launch a State-wide agitation against the induction of what it described as tainted leaders D.K. Shivakumar and R. Roshan Baig into the State Cabinet.

Mr. Shivakumar was responsible for more violations of mining-related rules than G. Janardhan Reddy. Why did the Congress induct him, Shivanand Kallur, BJP State secretary, asked while addressing a press conference here on Thursday.

According to Mr. Kallur, Mr. Baig was also facing several cases and therefore, he was not fit to be inducted into the Cabinet. “We will protest till these two leaders are removed from the Cabinet,” he said. The merger of Karnataka Janata Paksha into the BJP was likely to happen soon. Leaders of the KJP, including B.S. Yeddyurappa, had decided to join the BJP, unconditionally. There was no quid pro quo for admitting them into the party, he said.

Asked if Gurupadappa Nagamarapalli, MLA and former Minister, had been promised a ticket for Lok Sabha polls, if he were to join the BJP, Mr. Kallur said no promises had been made to anyone. The party had not decided on any candidate for Lok Sabha polls, he said. A core committee meeting of the BJP would decide on the Lok Sabha candidates, after taking the district units into confidence. The core committee meeting would be held at Bangalore on January 9 and 10, he said.

Chief Minister of Gujarat Narendra Modi will address five to six rallies in Karnataka between January 15 and February 28, Mr. Kallur said.

Shivaraj Gandage, Gurunath Jantikar, Upendra Deshpande, Suchitra and others were present.

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