Shimoga, December 30, 2013: Ending months of speculation, former Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa on Monday said he would return to the BJP, which he had deserted to form his own outfit more than a year ago.
“I will give sweet news in the first week of New Year. I know the party which I built has suffered due to my absence. I will not only rejoin my parental party but also tour the entire state to strengthen the hands of Narendra Modi to make him the Prime Minister,” Mr. Yeddyurappa said.
The talk about the homecoming of Mr. Yeddyurappa had gained more currency in recent weeks with state leaders making intensified efforts to bring him back and the former BJP strongman also giving enough indications about it.
Mr. Yeddyurappa’s statement to reporters at his home constituency of Shikaripura in Shimoga district comes a day after he told a Karnataka Janatha Paksha party workers meet that “this may become the final KJP meet.”
He said he had spoken to BJP president Rajnath Singh and even the state leaders had been talking about the necessity of his return.
“I grew up in the RSS parivar. I could become the Chief Minister only because of the blessings and support of the party,” he said, adding his return was “unconditional.”
He said the Congress had benefited as a result of the BJP and KJP contesting the May 8 assembly elections separately in the state. Garnering 10 per cent vote share and six seats, Mr. Yeddyurappa had damaged the prospects of the then ruling BJP but failed to make an impact as an independent entity.
Mr. Yeddyurappa said he had left the BJP out of “inevitable circumstances.”
He said the BJP had won 19 of the 28 Lok Sabha seats in Karnataka in the last elections and his effort in the 2014 parliamentary polls would be to get more number of seats.
He said after assembly polls, KJP had planned to have a tie-up with BJP but “on clearance from BJP high command” to induct him back he has decided to merge KJP with BJP.
Mr. Yeddyurappa, a strongman from the majority Lingayat community, was made to quit as Chief Minister in July 2011 over findings of Lokayukta indicting him on illegal mining issue.
Sidelined by BJP central leadership subsequently, Mr. Yeddyurappa had formed KJP in December last year, ending his 40-year-long association with BJP.