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HindustanTimes Thu,17 Apr 2014

KJP chief Yeddyurappa ready to be part of NDA

Shekhar Iyer , Hindustan Times  New Delhi, October 19, 2013
First Published: 23:20 IST(19/10/2013) | Last Updated: 01:07 IST(20/10/2013)

Karnataka Janata Party chief BS Yeddyurappa wrote to LK Advani, seeking entry of his party into the National Democratic Alliance “in its endeavor to make Narendra Modi as the next prime minister.”

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Yeddyurappa told Advani, who is the chairman of the NDA, that all leaders of his party had met on October 19 and taken a decision on this regard. He also sent copies of his letter to other BJP leaders Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj, Nitin Gadkari and Arun Jaitely.

Yeddyurappa told HT that his party intended to contest 10 of the 28 Lok Sabha seats and was ready for an understanding with the BJP for other places.

Yeddyurappa had caused a huge damage to the BJP’s prospects in the assembly polls held in April this year, which paved the way for a Congress government under Siddaramaiah.

Advani's opposition to his chief ministership two years ago over the mining scam caused him to leave the BJP and form his own party in December last year.

Advani was expected to discuss the issue with BJP parliamentary board members and other NDA leaders.

Though Advani was opposed to his return, he was likely to go by the views of other leaders who were keen to avoid a split of votes in Karnataka.

BJP's fear of being unable to retain 19 of the 28 Lok Sabha it won in 2009 saw parleys being held in the last few days to work out an arrangement.

In fact, soon after Modi was declared BJP’s PM candidate last month, Yeddyurappa expressed willingness to support his leadership. A few days ago, he had met party chief Rajnath Singh in Mumbai to discuss the matter.

Yeddyurappa’s latest decision to seek entry to the NDA came after he gave up plans for a merger of his party with the BJP and instead opt for the NDA. Apparently, the issue of accommodating his loyalists in the BJP made him to decide to retain his party’s identity, at least until the Lok Sabha polls.

Yeddyurappa recalled  in his letter to Advani that the KJP won six seats in the state assembly, securing more than 10% of the total valid votes. The Election Commission also granted recognition to his party as a regional Party.

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