The Karnataka Janata Paksha (KJP) will consider its merger with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) if the latter accepts B.S. Yeddyurappa as the unquestioned leader for Karnataka, and authorise him to take decisions on poll-related matters.

KJP campaign committee chairman V. Dhananjay Kumar told The Hindu that they were also aware of how leaders like Uma Bharti and Kalyan Singh were treated by the BJP after their re-induction. “We do not want Mr. Yeddyurappa to be re-inducted for the sake of the coming Lok Sabha polls and be sidelined later,” he said. Mr. Yeddyurappa is a force to reckon with and the BJP will stand to gain with his re-entry, Mr. Dhananjay Kumar said.

‘No communication’

He said the KJP has not got an official communication from the BJP and is aware of the developments only through the media. “The same Murli Manohar Joshi and K.S. Eshwarappa had once called Mr. Yeddyurappa corrupt. Today, I am happy that the very same leaders want him back and claim that cases against Mr. Yeddyurappa have not been established.” The former Chief Minister did not quit the BJP along with his supporters for the sake of power as he was with the BJP even a year after leaving the office of the Chief Minister, Mr. Dhananjay Kumar said.

He said admitting Mr. Yeddyurappa as a mere worker would not serve any purpose. As a leader of the masses, he would have the powers to decide on the electoral battle and select candidates.

The first priority of the KJP is, however, to retain its identity and be a part of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

The KJP has become a recognised political party and gained 10 per cent votes in the recent Assembly polls. “We are open to seat-sharing arrangements with the BJP,” Mr. Dhananjay Kumar said.

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