Less than a month after its leader B.S. Yeddyurappa declared that his political outfit, Karnataka Janata Paksha (KJP), had achieved its main objective of dividing votes in the recently held Assembly elections resulting in the defeat of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the party took a U-turn saying it is now ready to forge an alliance with the BJP for the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls.

KJP campaign committee chairman and former Union Minister V. Dhananjaya Kumar told a press conference in Bangalore on Wednesday that the KJP had taken this decision after the elevation of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in the party.

Later, he told The Hindu that his statement had the backing of KJP president and former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa. “The decision to have an open mind in forging an alliance with the BJP was taken at a meeting of prominent leaders of the party convened recently by Mr. Yeddyurappa himself,” he said. “It is mainly because of Mr. Modi’s elevation that we have an open mind to have a seat-sharing agreement with the BJP.” At the same time, he said there was no question of Mr. Yeddyurappa either rejoining the BJP or merging with the BJP.

“The KJP has decided to retain its identity. We are ready to join hands with other political parties, including the BJP without losing our identity,” he said.

He said the KJP was game for this only if a prominent leader like Mr. Modi or BJP national president Rajnath Singh took a lead in finalising the seat-sharing pact. “We have decided not to pursue the matter on our own. We want the BJP to take the initiative,” he said.

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