More leaders keen to join BJP : CM B S Yediyurappa

4:29 PM, Friday, January 17th, 2020
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Bengaluru : Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Thursday said the BJP will be open to welcoming leaders from other parties and that there should not be any hesitation within the saffron party about this.

The chief minister was speaking at a felicitation programme organised for Nalin Kumar Kateel, who was formally elected as the party’s state president on Thursday. While Kateel had taken charge as the president after Yediyurappa was sworn in as the chief minister, the official procedure of an election, where he was unanimously elected to the post, was conducted Thursday.

“There are several leaders from other parties waiting to join us. Instead of feeling insecure about our respective positions in the party, we should welcome them all,” Yediyurappa said. “The party should take in more people from SC, ST and OBC communities,” he added.

This assumes significance as the BJP came to power because 17 Congress-JD(S) legislators defected, of whom 11 were re-elected as the saffron party’s candidates in the bypolls held last month. Yediyurappa is keen on inducting them into his Cabinet, a promise he wants to keep.

Kateel expressed his ambition to win as many as 150 seats in the next Assembly elections. “While several people criticised me that my acquaintance with the state was limited to the coastal region, I toured various districts in the state over the last few months. I have gained insight into issues at the grassroots level.,” he said.

Seeking to put an end to the controversy following his spat with Panchamasali Mutt seer Vachananda Swami, Yediyurappa on Thursday said such statements were quite common.

In an official statement, the chief minister chose to downplay the incident.

“The government always faces pressure from different communities. In this light, Vachananda Swami’s statement was normal. As chief minister, it is my responsibility to take everyone along. All the pontiffs in the state have affection towards me. I believe in Basavanna’s Vachana that those who criticise me are my own. If I hurt anyone’s feelings with my reaction (on stage) that day, I apologise. I hope that I will continue to have the blessings of all the pontiffs and spiritual leaders in the state,” he stated. The chief minister’s apology comes a day after the Panchamasali Mutt seer apologised for the same.



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