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Signalling the end of his one-year-old experiment, former BJP chief minister B S Yeddyurappa admitted at a meeting of supporters in his hometown of Shikharipura Sunday that the Karnataka Janata Party (KJP) would cease to exist from January.
Yeddyurappa, who had until now not officially acknowledged his expected return to the BJP, said the Sunday meeting would be the last of the KJP in the region.
The former chief minister, who is a KJP MLA from Shikharipura in Shimoga district, said he was returning to the BJP to ensure a victory for its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. He said the KJP would merge with the BJP in January.
Yeddyurappa quit the BJP in December 2012 to create the KJP, which won six seats in the Karnataka Assembly polls in May this year. He quit the BJP after he was forced to resign as chief minister by the party leadership following indictment for corruption in a Lokayukta report on illegal mining. Yeddyurappa and two of his sons are facing prosecution by the CBI in the corruption case.
The BJP has sought his return considering the formidable support he is perceived to enjoy in the dominant Lingayat community in Karnataka. The KJP had garnered 10 per cent votes in the Assembly polls. It had divided BJP votes in the Mumbai-Karnataka region, which is a stronghold of the party.
With limited funds and Yeddyurappa himself aging fast, the KJP has been looking forward to a call-up from the BJP ahead of the Lok Sabha polls to resurrect political careers of many of its leaders.
The prospect of Yeddyurappa’s return to the BJP has looked bright since September following the anointment of Modi as the party’s prime minister candidate.