Minister for Large and Medium-Scale Industries Murugesh Nirani and Minister for Excise M.P. Renukacharya, close aides of Karnataka Janata Paksha president B.S. Yeddyurappa, have cleared the air about their political loyalties by formally announcing that they will be quitting the Bharatiya Janata Party to join the KJP.

While Mr. Nirani announced at a press conference in Jamkhandi on Monday that he will join the KJP at a convention to be organised in the town on March 29, Mr. Renukacharya told reporters in Honnali on Tuesday that he would join the KJP soon.

Mr. Nirani is set to join the KJP at a convention in the presence of Mr. Yeddyurappa. Mr. Nirani, who represents Bilagi in the Assembly, is said to be keen on contesting the Assembly elections from Jamkhandi.

Mr. Renukacharya said he wanted to help strengthen Mr. Yeddyurappa and his political outfit ande was upset with the BJP for humiliating Mr. Yedduyrappa. He told reporters that his followers in Honnali had insisted that he should not betray Mr. Yedduyrappa. He had convened a meeting of his supporters in Honnali on Friday to formally announce that he would join the KJP. Sources in the BJP said the party had already shortlisted a few candidates as alternatives to Mr. Renukacharya for the Honnali constituency as there had been clear indications of him quitting the party for a long time.

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