Tells people leaving the party was a "mistake"

Nearly 14 months after severing links with the party, the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa formally rejoined the Bharatiya Janata Party along with his supporters on Thursday, claiming that he was doing so to contribute his mite to bringing the BJP to power at the Centre at a time when the party was witnessing a “now-or-never opportunity” to return to power and end the “misrule” of the Congress.

Mr. Yeddyurappa, who took the party’s primary membership at the BJP State headquarters along with key aides such as Shobha Karandlaje in the presence of a large number of supporters, apologised to the people of the State for what he called the “mistake” of quitting the party that paved the way for the victory of the Congress in the Assembly polls.

Promising not to part ways with the BJP again, he called for working unitedly to defeat the Congress at the Centre and to bring back the BJP to power in the State. Asking the BJP and KJP leaders not to suspect each others’ intentions, he said, “how many seats we will win in the Lok Sabha polls from the State will depend on the measure of honesty with which we will work.”

Praising BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, Mr. Yeddyurappa urged the party to work towards winning more than 19 Lok Sabha seats in Karnataka to help Mr. Modi become Prime Minister. “I am not rejoining the party for power,” he said.

But he urged the BJP leadership to provide suitable positions for the KJP office-bearers who were with him. At the same time, he indicated that positions were earned in politics by remarking that: “Nobody spoonfeeds a lion. The lion has to get its food on its own though it is the king of the jungle.”

Stating that Mr. Yeddyurappa’s re-entry would strengthen the party, BJP national general secretary Ananth Kumar remarked that the countdown had begun for the end of the Congress rule both at the Centre and in the State.

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