The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is all set to replace Janata Dal (Secular) as the principal Opposition party in the Legislative Assembly.

With the induction of four Karnataka Janata Paksha MLAs into the BJP, Legislative Assembly Speaker Kagodu Thimmappa on Wednesday said four MLAs — B.S. Yeddyurappa, Gurupadappa Nagamarapalli, U.B. Banakar and Vishwanath Patil — have been recognised as BJP MLAs in the House.

Making an announcement in the House after Governor H.R. Bhardwaj’s speech to the joint session of the State legislature, the Speaker said the BJP’s strength in the House has increased to 44.

He said four MLAs had given in writing that they have merged with the BJP. BJP State president Pralhad Joshi submitted a letter stating that the party had admitted four KJP legislators. The BJP floor leader Jagadish Shettar had given a letter seeking allotment of seats to four members in the House along with BJP members, Mr. Thimmappa said.

The Speaker would make a statement on Thursday on the status of main Opposition party and the Leader of the Opposition.

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