Yeddyurappa offers 'unconditional' merger but will BJP bite?

First he offered to back Modi but refused to merge his party with the BJP. However, after extended negotiations, former BJP chief and chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa may be set to return to the BJP and has reportedly offered to 'unconditionally' merge his party with the BJP ahead of the 2014 polls.

According to a Times of India report, the offer from Yeddyurappa has been conveyed to the BJP's top leadership and his top aide has said hinted that his Karanataka Janata Paksha (KJP) was amenable to the merger.

"A merger will be in the interest of both parties as it will ensure a smooth synergy and boost the chances of BJP repeating its performance in the last Lok Sabha elections when it won 19 of the 28 Lok Sabha seats," Yeddyurappa's aide Lehar Singh was quoted as saying in the report.

Yeddyurappa, who parted ways with the BJP over the party's refusal to make him the Chief Minister after being exonerated in a case of corruption, but this time won't be seeking any posts for himself or his family and is motivated by his "high regard for Modiji".

A section of Karnataka BJP unit led by former chief minister DV Sadananda Gowda has been lobbying for taking back Yeddyurappa.

 Yeddyurappa offers unconditional merger but will BJP bite?

Time for a return? Yeddyurappa after forming the KJP. PTI

The former Chief Minister has been making overtures to the BJP suggesting an alliance for some time now and had even reportedly written to LK Advani seeking to be made a part of the NDA only to be met with a frosty silence. 

Other senior leaders in the party are not too keen on seeing the return of the former Chief Minister and leaders like Ananth Kumar, Sushma Swaraj and Nitin Gadkari may be openly opposed to his return. 

However, for the BJP which recently lost its hold in the state of Karnataka after Yeddyurappa parted ways, the merger coming ahead of the 2014 polls may finally help get the party in fighting shape.

The departure of Yeddyurappa and the infighting among its state leadership were blamed for the party's demolition in the recent state elections where it won just 40 seats. While the KJP won only six seats, the BJP has acknowledged that Yeddyurappa's presence in the opposition had dented its performance.

Still enjoying the backing of the Lingayat community, Yeddyurappa remains a potent force in the state where the BJP won 19 of the 28 Lok Sabha seats in the 2009 elections.

The Congress given its performance in the Assembly elections seems set to hold on to the state in the 2014 polls but Yeddyurappa and the KJP could be the deciding factor for the BJP in getting more seats or at least holding on to the seats it has. 

Given that the BJP presently has no real base in south India ahead of the 2014 polls, Yeddyurappa's offer is a tempting one. But both Modi and the BJP will be well aware of the possible price it will come with.

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Updated Date: Nov 15, 2013 08:40:31 IST