Haven’t set terms for merger with BJP: Yeddyurappa

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BANGALORE, December 10:  A day after the Bharatiya Janata Party registered a thumping victory in the Assembly elections in four northern States, Karnataka Janata Paksha (KJP) president B.S. Yeddyurappa maintained that he had not placed any conditions for his party’s merger with the BJP.

Addressing the party’s State executive committee members on the occasion of the first anniversary of the KJP’s formation here on Monday, Mr. Yeddyurappa, however, said he had not received a formal offer from the BJP central leadership yet. In such an event, a decision that protects the interests of party cadres would be taken after consulting the members, he said.

Mr. Yeddyurappa made it clear that he had not been in touch with the BJP central leadership ever since he left that party. “Also, I did not place any conditions when the State BJP leaders met me,” he said. Except his letter to the National Democratic Alliance convener and BJP leader L.K. Advani [expressing the KJP’s willingness to join the NDA], he had not communicated anything to either of them, Mr. Yeddyurappa said.

The spectacular performance of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the Delhi Assembly polls should inspire every political party, Mr. Yeddyurappa said, while pointing out that a true struggle could make a political party successful. He too had risen to this position by espousing the cause of the common man and the struggle would continue, he said. “I am healthy enough to fight the next two Assembly elections,” he said.

The time is ripe to form or strengthen an opposition party in Karnataka as the Congress government had failed on all fronts and no programmes were being implemented. He criticised Mr. Siddaramaiah for his failure to address sugarcane growers’ woes, which led to the suicide of a farmer in Belgaum.

‘We are with him’

Speaking earlier, KJP working president Shobha Karandlaje said that the party cadre was not worried about its future, but they would not let injustice be done again to Mr. Yeddyurappa. “If Mr. Yeddyurappa wants to go [to the BJP] or strike an alliance, we will not oppose him,” she said.

Responding to reports in a section of the media about Mr. Yeddyurappa placing conditions, including suitable positions to his supporters for his re-entry to the BJP, Ms. Karandlaje said that none of the leaders was after power. Many other leaders too spoke on the same lines and said that Mr. Yeddyurappa’s future was the future of the party and that he was free to take a decision on the further course of action.

The former Ministers C.M. Udasi, M.P. Renukacharya and H. Halappa were among those who spoke.

‘I won’t become MLC’
KJP working president Shobha Karandlaje said that she would never become a member of the Legislative Council in her lifetime. “Instead, I would love to fight direct elections for the cause of the general public and work for them,” she told the KJP State executive committee meeting here on Monday. She was responding to reports that one of the conditions put forth by Mr. Yeddyurappa for KJP’s merger with the BJP, was to make Ms. Karandlaje an MLC.

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