‘I have come to help patriotic Modi become prime minister’
The former Minister and BSR Congress founder B. Sriramulu rejoined the Bharatiya Janata Party here on Friday to pave the way for the party to nominate him as its candidate for the Lok Sabha elections from Bellary.
“I formed the BSR Congress after quitting the BJP as self-esteem was important to me. But I believe in the principle that the nation is above personalities. Hence, I am now rejoining the BJP to help a patriotic Narendra Modi become the prime minister,” he told presspersons.
However, his re-entry is marked by confusion as he is yet to quit the Assembly seat he won on BSR Congress ticket. According to sources, he would consult legal experts. To avoid any legal trouble, the party is yet to offer him primary membership. Mr. Sriramulu said that his followers, including legislators, would follow him into the BJP.
BJP State unit president Pralhad Joshi, who admitted Mr. Sriramulu into the party, said that the party would also withdraw the suspension order against MPs and Mr. Sriramulu’s relatives J. Shanta and Sanna Fakirappa.
Mr. Sriramulu sought to play down the episode of party leader Sushma Swaraj opposing his re-entry and said that he would continue to treat her as his godmother.
Meanwhile, columnist Pratap Simha and the former chief of Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Limited B. Shivalingaiah, who have been given ticket to contest the elections from Mysore and Mandya, respectively, joined the BJP on Friday.
‘Merger not on agenda’
Bellary Staff Correspondent reports:
Party leader K.S. Eshwarappa clarified in Bellary that his party has asked only Mr. Sriramulu to join the party. The issue of merger was not on the agenda, he said.
To questions from presspersons, Mr. Eshwarappa said that bringing Mr. Sriramulu back into the party was the only issue discussed at the BJP’s election committee meeting, where all senior leaders, including Ms. Swaraj, were present and gave their consent to the move. However, the issue of merger was not discussed at all, he said.
Mr. Eshwarappa said that the party will announce Mr. Sriramulu as its candidate from Bellary (Scheduled Tribes) on Saturday.
Mr. Eshwarappa also said that the split in the BJP had left the voters confused affecting its prospects in the Assembly elections. “Now with the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and Mr. Sriramulu coming back, the party had regained strength and would win 22-24 Lok Sabha seats in the State,” he said.