Many more Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislators may join former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa’s Karnataka Janata Party (KJP) soon. Yeddyurappa may share the dais with some of his former cabinet colleagues who had embarrassed the BJP after being accused of various charges.
Excise Minister M P Renukacharya, who was expelled from the BJP for six years, lost his post on Wednesday. A day after badmouthing former chief minister D V Sadananda Gowda and others in the BJP, Renukacharya began making preparations for holding a public rally at Honnali his home constituency in Davangere, on March 29 to join the KJP.
He said: “The people of my constituency want me to join the KJP. After all the humiliation I suffered in the BJP I did not want to continue anymore. I am trying to get Yeddyurappa to attend the rally to be held at Honnali.” Yeddyurappa seems to have succeeded in at last convincing Major Industries Minister Murugesh Nirani to join the KJP. Sources said Nirani would join the KJP at Jamakhandi in Bagalkot district on March 29. His followers have begun preparing for a rally which will be attended by Yeddyurappa.
KJP sources said Minister V Somanna “is all set to desert the BJP to be with Yeddyurappa.” He is keen on contesting from Hanur, Chamarajnagar district. But till Wednesday evening he had not made any announcement. The sources claimed that he would join the KJP in Bangalore itself.
This also means denial of ticket to former Hanur MLA Parimala Nagappa, who was aspiring to be a KJP candidate. It is learnt that Parimala, after getting sufficient hints from the KJP that Somanna would be preferred over her, asked her followers to join the Janata Dal Secular (JD-S).
Sources said JD-S State unit president H D Kumaraswamy would address a press conference along with Parimala on March 31 in Bangalore. There is speculation that Agriculture Minister V Umesh Katti may join the KJP if the Congress denies him the ticket. Katti, if he joins the KJP, may bring along with him at least a couple of BJP legislators from Belgaum. Eleven of the 18 Assembly seats in Belgaum are held by BJP members. Seven MLAs belong to the Congress. Sources said the KJP would focus only on 140 assembly constituencies, where “it is confident of performing well, though it may field candidates for all the 224 seats.”