The Karnataka unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party has unanimously agreed to welcome back former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa -- who had walked out of the party after he was asked to resign from the top post -- to improve its prospects in the state in the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls.
But Karnataka BJP leaders have decided to leave the final decision to the party’s top brass in New Delhi.
While the central leadership is keen on bringing the popular leader back to the party fold, they want Yeddyurappa to make the first overture.
The Karnataka strongman, on the other hand, wants a formal invitation from the party.
Party insiders believe that both the BJP and Yeddyurappa need each other at this point and the issue will be resolved amicably.
Yeddyurappa is likely to formally return to the party in November, with the blessings of Gujarat Chief Minister and BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.
Senior leader Arun Jaitley is expected to visit Bangalore next week to discuss the issue.
For the saffron party, it is crucial to bring back Yeddyurappa, as that would ensure that the saffron party would get 9.85 per cent of the votes, which it had lost during the assembly elections.
The Karnataka strongman, a member of the Lingayat community, would also bring in more votes for the party in the northern part of the state, which has a sizeable population of the community.
BJP leaders believe that Yeddyurappa will also help promote Modi in rural parts of the state, among voters who, unlike their urban counterparts, may not be aware of the Gujarat CM’s popularity.
However, party patriarch L K Advani has raised several objections to Yeddyurappa’s return.
The veteran leader has reservations about the former CM’s return, given the many corruption charges against him. He has urged party leaders to seek legal opinion and conduct a thorough scrutiny of all the pending cases against Yeddyurappa before bringing him back.
The corruption cases could come back to haunt Yeddyurappa, believes Advani, who has told senior leaders that the BJP should not seem too eager to welcome back a leader who is facing serious charges of corruption.