Party high command may call State leaders to Delhi to discuss merger modalities

The Bharatiya Janata Party State unit has made it clear to its high command that it has no objection to re-including its former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa back into its fold.

According to sources, there is a likelihood of the BJP high command calling the State leaders to Delhi in the next few days to discuss the possibility of merging the Yeddyurappa-led Karnataka Janata Paksha with the BJP. The high command, it is said, wants an unconditional merger.

However, the only hitch in the merger is the reported concerns expressed by veteran leader L.K. Advani, who was critical of Mr. Yeddyurappa when he was indicted by the Karnataka Lokayukta’s report on illegal mining and had sought action against him.

Mr. Advani is said to be of the view that accommodating persons like Mr. Yeddyurappa may become counter productive as the United Progressive Alliance’s alleged corruption and mis-governance would be the main plank of the BJP in the campaign for the Lok Sabha polls. If Mr. Advani sticks to his opposition to Mr. Yeddyurappa, a consensus will elude the BJP on the merger, according to BJP sources in Delhi.

Mr. Yeddyurappa’s emissary and MLC Lehar Singh, who had called on BJP leader Arun Jaitley in Delhi on Wednesday, reportedly wants to meet Mr. Advani. But, the meeting has not materialised yet.

In Bangalore, the former BJP Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda told a press conference that the party State unit had conveyed to the high command that it had no objections to having Mr. Yeddyurappa back in the party fold. “We have requested the national leaders to take an early decision. We will abide by whatever decision the high command takes,” he said. “The ball is in the court of the BJP Parliamentary Board. Any message from Karnataka (referring to the KJP’s public statement that it does not prefer a merger) will be forwarded to the board. They will take an appropriate decision,” he said. The meeting is learnt to have decided to appoint new office-bearers to the State unit in about a week.

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