Divide in BJP as BSY return on the cards

Lok Janshakti Party’s central parliamentary board chairman Chirag Paswan, along with other leaders, at a public meeting at Virat

Lok Janshakti Party’s central parliamentary board chairman Chirag Paswan, along with other leaders, at a public meeting at Virat

Close on the heels of L.K. Advani protesting the anointment of Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi as the prime ministerial candidate and then falling in line, another issue that is likely to pit the BJP patriarch against the Modi camp is the possible return of Karnataka strongman B.S. Yeddyurappa. Also it was claimed by the BJP on Wednesday that Ananth Kumar will not be shifted from Bengaluru (south) constituency. It is also learnt that the saffron party is likely to nominate all the sitting MPs. However, a final decision will be taken on the three suspended MPs, which include Basavraj, Raghavendra and Shiv Kumar Udasi.
Also the party is yet to make up its mind on two other MPs namely J. Shanta and Pakkirappa, who have been issued show-cause notices for anti-party activities. The state BJP unit president Prahalad Joshi is likely to retain his home turf, the Dhrawad constituency.
The former Karnataka chief minister has been warming up to his parent party ever since Modi occupied centre stage in the saffron outfit. Mr Yeddyurappa has been one of the early leaders in the BJP (when he was a part of it), who pitched for Mr Modi being made the prime ministerial candidate of the party.
But his return is being bitterly opposed by a section of leaders close to Mr Advani. Ahead of the last Assembly polls, the disgruntled leader floated his own party the Karnataka Janata Paksha (KJP). The KJP, which won only six seats in the 225-member Assembly, severely dented the BJP votebank that got reduced to just 40 seats. But the sum total of the votes polled by the BJP, KJP and Sriramalu remained the same.
It is being felt by a section of the Karnataka state BJP led by former D.V. Sadananda Gowda that bringing back Mr Yeddyurappa would benefit the BJP in the forthcoming 2014 Lok Sabha elections. The BJP had won 19 of the 28 seats from the state.
Also sources within the party say that senior leader Arun Jaitley favours the return of the lingayat leader. He feels that the merger of the KJP with the BJP would ensure a win-win situation to both the former chief minister and the BJP.
But those opposing the return of Mr Yeddyurappa say that the move will weaken their fight against corruption.
But Mr Yeddyurappa has also made it clear to the BJP that his return should not lead to any division within the BJP.
In the event of any difference of opinion within the saffron party, he is open to the idea of striking a pre-poll alliance with his parent party, sources close to Mr Yeddyurappa said.

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