It must have come as a relief to the Bharatiya Janata Party when Murugesh Nirani, Minister for Large- and Medium-scale Industries, announced his decision to remain in the party.

Recently, while talking to presspersons, Mr. Nirani made it clear that he was desirous of contesting from Jamkhandi, instead of Bilagi.

He attended and spoke at a BJP function organised to mark the launch of the Vijay Sankalp Yatra here on Thursday. Among those who spoke were Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, BJP State president Prahlad Joshi, national vice-president D.V. Sadananda Gowda and Deputy Chief Minister K.S. Eshwarappa.

Mr. Nirani said he had realised that he had better prospects if he contested from Bilagi. It may be recalled here that Mr. Nirani had expressed his intention to join the Karnataka Janata Paksha. Similarly, Agriculture Minister Umesh V. Katti from Belgaum, who also seemed on the verge of quitting the party, has decided to remain loyal to the BJP.

Mr. Eshwarappa said it had been rumoured that senior leaders V. Somanna, Basavaraj Bommai, Mr. Nirani and Mr. Katti were planning to quit the BJP; however, none of them made any statements in that direction. He welcomed their decision to remain in the party.

More In: Karnataka | National