Yeddyurappa: BJP members and my supporters will work as a team for LS polls

The former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa has said he and his supporters would like to forget their stint with Karnataka Janata Paksha, just as we would a bad dream.

Speaking at a convention of Bharatiya Janata Party workers held here on Saturday, he said that the BJP functionaries and his supporters, who joined the party recently, would work together as a team for the Lok Sabha elections.

Mr. Yeddyurappa said that in the recent Assembly elections, the Congress benefited from the split of votes between the BJP and the KJP. The BJP and KJP should forget the differences they had in the past and work together for the LS elections.

Commenting on the merger of the KJP with the BJP, he said he took the decision in the interests of the nation. Mr. Yeddyurappa said Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who the party is projecting as its prime ministerial candidate, is capable of leading the nation. “I decided to merge KJP with the BJP unconditionally to help Mr. Modi become Prime Minister,” he said.

He called upon the BJP leaders in Karnataka to build the party on the basis of the principles of inclusiveness and social justice. The BJP leaders should try to bring the people belonging to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Backward Classes and Minorities to the party fold. It is necessary to identify the capable persons in these communities and offer suitable positions for them, he said.

The common people are disillusioned with the misrule of the Congress-lead United Progressive Alliance government at the Centre. The BJP activists should reach out to such people and apprise them of the party ideology and the welfare programmes it plans to launch after coming to power at the Centre, he said.

Expressing displeasure with the style of functioning of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, he said ever since he took charge, development works in the State had come to a standstill. Many Congress legislators are unhappy with Mr. Siddaramaiah’s performance.

‘Contest from Shimoga’

At the convention, senior leaders requested Mr. Yeddyurappa to contest the Lok Sabha elections from Shimoga constituency. Mr. Yeddyurappa, however, didn’t give a direct response and only said he was not after power. “My objective is to strengthen the BJP and help the party to perform well in Lok Sabha elections,” he said.

The former Deputy Chief Minister K.S. Eshwarappa said the BJP will face the elections in Karnataka under Mr. Yeddyurappa’s leadership. BJP workers would be glad if Mr. Yeddyurappa agrees to contest the Lok Sabha elections from Shimoga constituency. It would boost their confidence.

If the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance comes to power at the Centre, Mr. Yeddyurappa would become Union Minister on the basis of his seniority. As Union Minister, he can extend valuable contributions to the development of Karnataka and work to strengthen the party here, he said.

Speaking on the occasion, Rajya Sabha member and president of BJP district unit Ayanur Manjunath said Mr. Yeddyurappa should become Union Minister for the development of Karnataka.

Replying to the requests, Mr. Yeddyurappa said: “The merger of Karnataka Janata Paksha and the BJP was unconditional. I am not an aspirant for any position. In 1999 itself, Atal Bihari Vajpayee who was Prime Minister then had offered Rajya Sabha membership for me. I had not accepted the offer as I wanted to strengthen the party from grassroots level. I will work hard for the victory of BJP candidates in all the constituencies in Karnataka,” he said.

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