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BJP in Karnataka: SM Krishna's BJP induction postponed by a week due to sister's passing

After a thumping victory in Uttar Pradesh and with an eye on next year's Assembly election in Karnataka, the BJP was all set to induct former external affairs minister and a seasoned politician, who quit the Congress in January this year. In fact, the BJP's Karnataka unit chief BS Yeddyurappa on 6 March met Krishna in Bengaluru and invited him to join the party. Krishna was slated to join BJP on Wednesday.

However, due to the death of his sister, Krishna has put off plans of joining the party for now. Krishna was in New Delhi on Tuesday itself as he was scheduled to join the BJP on Wednesday. Due to the death of his sister Sunitha on Tuesday night, Krishna had to rush back to Bengaluru. Speaking to The Hindu, sources close to party leadership said that the induction will surely happen but it might be postponed till the party decides on a day.

Karnataka BJP president B S Yeddyurappa on 14 March said Krishna will join the BJP on 15 March.

"Krishna will join BJP fold on 15 March in New Delhi," Yeddyurappa had told reporters in Bengaluru after addressing a rally in the run up to the Nanjangud and Gundlupet bypolls. Yeddyurappa also mentioned about Krishna's induction in the BJP in his speech during the rally. He had said Krishna would be inducted into the party in the presence of BJP chief Amit Shah and other central leaders.

 BJP in Karnataka: SM Krishnas BJP induction postponed by a week due to sisters passing

Former External Affairs Minister SM Krishna's induction into BJP has been postponed till further notice. AP

The 84-year-old Krishna had announced his resignation from the Congress on 29 January, saying the party was in a "state of confusion" on whether it needs mass leaders or not. Krishna, who was Karnataka chief minister from 1999 to 2004, had returned to state politics after stepping down as the minister for external affairs in 2012. He had also served as the Governor of Maharashtra.

Meanwhile, the Karnataka Congress on Tuesday said it did not think that the exit of Krishna from the party would affect its prospects in future elections, including the by-poll next month. "There should not be any problem for the Congress in future elections, including the coming Nanjangud and Gundlupet by-polls, following the resignation of Krishna from the party," state Home Minister G Parameshwara told reporters.

Parameshwara was replying to a question on whether the Congress's prospects in future polls would be affected by the departure of Krishna from the party. "We will definitely take care of that (Krishna's) loss. If one considers it as a loss, we will definitely manage it," he said. Asked whether the loss of Krishna would mean losing the Vokkaliga votes, Parameshwara said the party does not believe in caste politics as an election strategy.

"Congress never believes in caste politics. Individuals may do, but we don't believe in caste as a factor in our election strategies," Parameshwara was quoted as saying by PTI.

Ever since he left the Congress, Krishna has been biding his time to join the BJP, but was told to wait till this week, as Shah and Modi were busy with Assembly elections in five states. "With the BJP securing thumping majority in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand and set to form governments in Goa and Manipur, Krishna thought it is the right time to join the BJP and strengthen the party in Karnataka, where Assembly election is due in next year," a party official told IANS.

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Mar 15, 2017 12:11:46 IST