Discussions on to retain Murugesh Nirani in BJP
Close on the heels of Umesh Katti announcing his decision to remain in BJP, some other fence-sitters, including Ministers V. Somanna and Basavaraj Bommai, too are learnt to have agreed to stay in the party.
According to sources in the BJP, it is now trying to convince another fence-sitter, Minister Murugesh Nirani, a close aide of the former Chief Minister and Karnataka Janata Paksha president B.S. Yeddyurappa, not to cross over to that party.
“Today (Saturday), he responded positively to our talks. But there are some more issues and consultations are on to fully convince him to remain with us,” the sources said.
The sources also noted that the BJP had made it clear to Mr. Nirani that his request for changing the constituency from Bilagi to Jamkhandi could not be considered. Interestingly, Mr. Nirani’s younger brother Hanumanth Nirani met party leaders on Saturday seeking ticket from Bilagi if his elder brother joined the KJP.
Mr. Katti and Mr. Bommai attended the consultations of party top leaders with district unit chiefs in Bangalore on Saturday to take their help in finalising the list of candidates for the Assembly polls in constituencies where there are multiple aspirants. The presence of these leaders at the BJP meeting put an end to speculations that they may switch over to the KJP.
Meanwhile, party leader and Minister C.T. Ravi told a press conference that the BJP had decided to focus on the development works taken up by its government and the failures of the UPA government, including price rise, during the campaigning. According to him, the government’s welfare measures and development works have reached 1.25 crore persons in the State. Ridiculing the Congress leaders, he remarked that “the rebellion in the Congress will explode on the day of the release of the party’s list of candidates.”