He submits two letters — one of the KJPLP and the other of the executive

Karnataka Janata Paksha president B.S. Yeddyurappa on Friday submitted two letters to Speaker Kagodu Thimmappa with reference to the merger of the KJP with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Mr. Thimmappa told The Hindu that Mr. Yeddyurappa also submitted resolutions of the legislature party and executive committee of the KJP endorsing the merger move with the BJP. In the letters, Mr. Yeddyurappa informed the Speaker that the KJP has merged with the BJP.

Mr. Thimmappa said that he would initiate action after receiving a similar letter from the BJP, and also in consultation with legal experts.

He said that three MLAs, apart from Mr. Yeddyurappa (Shikaripur), Vishwanath Patil (Bailhongal), Gurupadappa Nagamarapalli (Bidar North) and U.B. Banakar (Hirekerur) have affixed their signatures to the letters.

While one letter requested the Speaker to consider the four MLAs as members of the BJP based on the resolution of their legislature party meeting on Friday, the other related to the resolution of the KJP executive committee which authorised Mr. Yeddyurappa to take the final decision on the merger. Based on the authorisation, he has decided to merge the KJP with the BJP, Mr. Yeddyurappa said in that letter.

Sources in the Secretariat said that two other KJP MLAs — B.R. Patil (Aland) and Guru Patil (Shahpur) — had not signed the letters nor were they present when the letters were being handed over to the Speaker. They said that the anti-defection provisions might not come in the way of the merger as more than two-thirds of the legislators of the party were in favour of the merger.

The Speaker, apart from approving the merger, would also have to take a decision on considering the BJP as the principal Opposition party in the Assembly as its numbers would increase to 44 after the merger. Now, both the BJP and the Janata Dal (Secular) have 40 MLAs each and the Janata Dal(S) has been accorded the status of principal opposition based on its vote share. The KJP is expected to formally communicate the merger to the Election Commission of India on Monday, sources in the party said.

‘Modi, only choice’

Speaking to presspersons after meeting the Speaker, Mr. Yeddyurappa said that he had decided to join the National Democratic Alliance initially, and the BJP later, to strengthen the hands of the BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi. Taking a swipe at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s criticism of Mr. Modi at Friday’s press conference in New Delhi, Mr. Yeddyurappa said that Mr. Modi is the only choice for the post.

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