The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is likely to take a decision on re-induction of former Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa into the party later this week.
Considered the strongest Lingayat leader in the state, Yeddyurappa had expressed his keenness to join the party again after Narendra Modi was announced as its prime ministerial candidate on September 13.
Yeddyurappa is reported to be close to Modi and had even said earlier that he would support Modi's PM candidature.
Sources said Opposition leader in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley is scheduled to visit the state capital on Thursday where he will meet the party leaders to discuss the matter with them.
Yeddyurappa's Karnataka Janata Pakasha (KJP) has also called its working committee meet on Thursday. The former CM has said his party would decide on either joining the BJP or being a part of BJP-led National Democratic Alliance in the 2014 general elections.
Yeddyurappa left the BJP to form KJP last year before the assembly elections. A section of the BJP is against the former CM's return to the BJP as he is facing corruption charges.
After the September 13 announcement, KJP sent an open letter to Modi to congratulate him on his elevation. KJP senior leader and Yeddyurappa's close aide V Dhananjay Kumar wrote the letter and stated that Modi would set things right in the BJP in Karnataka.
“You are aware that on account of adverse political developments in Karnataka, KJP leaders and former CM BS Yeddyurappa had to part ways with the BJP,” Kumar wrote in the letter. He also wished Modi would bring changes in the BJP in the process of nation building.
KJP sources said Modi has already hinted that there will be a reshuffle in the state BJP and Yeddyurappa will be made the leader of principal opposition party after the merger.
At present, Janata Dal (Secular) is the principal opposition party in the state as it has more percentage of votes than the BJP even though both have 40 assembly seats each. If KJP's six legislators join the BJP then the BJP will emerge as the main opposition party.
Till now, the BJP did not try to re-induct the former CM as BJP national general secretary HN Ananth Kumar was against the decision. Other party leaders such as former CMs DV Sadandanda Gowda and Jagadish Shettar are in support of the decision and made some failed attempts to bring Yeddyurappa back.
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has also thrown its weight behind the decision now. At the Karnataka pranth RSS baithak, which was held recently in Bellary, several leaders and RSS pramukhs also said that Yeddyurappa should be brought back to the BJP.
Gowda, Shettar and party's state chief Pahlad Joshi discussed the matter with RSS chief Mohan Bhagawat.
They also said Bellary's Reddy brothers and their associate B Sriramulu should be re-inducted in the party to ensure that the BJP wins the maximum votes in the general elections.