As Narendra Modi rises, B S Yeddyurappa says open to pre-poll pact

B S YeddyurappaB S Yeddyurappa

With Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi taking over BJP's poll campaign for 2014 elections, the Karnataka Janata Party, led by B S Yeddyurappa, has taken a U-turn and expressed openness to a pre-poll alliance with the BJP. Yeddyurappa may meet Modi during his likely visit to the state in a few weeks.

"In our meeting last month to decide strategy for the parliamentary polls, we had decided that we need to be in an alliance to do well. Then we had ruled out an alliance with the BJP. But under the changed circumstances in the BJP, we are now open to an alliance," said KJP general secretary Dhananjay Kumar.

Yeddyurappa had quit the BJP in December 2012 after he was sidelined by the party in the wake of corruption charges slapped against him by the Lok Ayukta. However, the Lingayat community strongman floated the KJP that dented the BJP's electoral fortunes in the recently held Assembly polls.

He blamed senior leader L K Advani for his isolation in the BJP. But recently he welcomed the elevation of Modi as BJP's campaign committee chief. He indicated that though the KJP won't merge with the BJP, it would be more open to the party in the changed scenario.

The BJP and RSS leaders have already started back-channel talks with the KJP leader for his possible return to the party fold before the general election. Close aides of Yeddyurappa said that he is also open to being part of a third front. They also said that the KJP, in a bid to preserve its identity, would like an alliance with the BJP in line with the Congress-NCP alliance in Maharashtra.

"We feel that the situation in the BJP has changed with Modi assuming leadership. The Advani factor can be overcome by Modi. The corruption charges issue against Yeddyurappa was raised by Advani to help one person Ananth Kumar,'' Dhananjay Kumar said. "Right now Modi is busy trying to sort out the tangle with Advani. He is likely to visit Karnataka in the next month or two and a meeting is possible then,'' he said.

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