Bangalore, Jan 9:
Former Karantaka BJP leader B.S. Yeddyurappa Thursday rejoined the party more than a year after leaving it to head the Karnataka Janata Party.
State Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Pralhad Joshi handed over to Yeddyurappa party’s primary membership letter at a function in the party office here. Former BJP ministers Shobha Karandlaje and C.M. Udasi were among others who rejoined the party.
Yeddyurappa, BJP’s first chief minister in the state, told reporters that he decided to return to the party the day it announced Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as its prime ministerial candidate.
He said he and other state BJP leaders have put aside their difference “to work together to make Modi the prime minister”.
Yeddyurappa, who was forced to quit as Karnataka’s chief minister in July 2011 over corruption charges, said the aim is to win at least 20 of the 28 Lok Sabha seats in the forthcoming general elections.
In the 2009 elections, the BJP won 19 seats, the Congress, in opposition in the state then, six and the Janata Dal-Secular three.
Besides Joshi, BJP general secretary and Bangalore South Lok Sabha member H.N. Ananth Kumar, former chief ministers D.V. Sadananda Gowda and Jagadish Shettar and former deputy chief ministers K.S. Eshwarappa and R. Ashoka welcomed Yeddyurappa back to the party.
Yeddyurappa’s return to BJP appeared inevitable as his KJP fared dismally in the Karnataka assembly elections in May this year.
The KJP won only six seats in the 225-member assembly. However, it heavily damaged the BJP which won just 40 seats compared to the 110 it had won in 2008.
The BJP’s poor show also forced it to get Yeddyurappa back as he is largely credited with bringing it to power for the first time in Karnataka in 2008.
He belongs to Lingayat community, the largest group in the state with 17 percent of the population out of over 60 million, and still has influence over it.