After public opposition by senior leader Sushma Swaraj, the Bharatiya Janata Party on Thursday decided against merging the BSR Congress with it but approved the nomination of party leader B Sreeramalu for the Bellary Lok Sabha seat.
The BJP Parliamentary Board discussed the issue at length and decided against the merger of the BSR Congress, sources said.
Sreeramulu is a close confidante of the Reddy brothers who had to quit the BJP after their arrest in connection to the mining scam.
The BJP has decided to field Sreeramulu from Bellary in Karnataka.
BJP's Karnataka unit president Prahlad Joshi said the "Parliamentary Board has decided to field Sreeramulu to contest from the Bellary Lok Sabha seat on a BJP ticket."
Sreeramulu told PTI that he has informed by the BJP leadership about his ticket and said his party was ready for a merger.
The BSR Congress has been keen on merging with the BJP but Swaraj had last week publicly articulated her opposition to the entry of Sreeramalu and Reddy brothers into the party fold.
She had also written to party chief Rajnath Singh, saying such 'tainted' leaders should not be allowed to be associated with the party.
"The BJP Parliamentary Board has decided against the merger with the BSR Congress. But it has allowed some of its leaders to join the BJP’s fold. However, each leader's credentials will be screened and only such people will be allowed to join the party who are not tainted, have no cases and have a good public image," a senior BJP leader said.
Former Karnataka chief minister B S Yeddyurappa, who recently returned to the party fold after he had to quit the post in the wake of corruption charges, is likely to bag a ticket for his confidant G S Basavaraj from Tumkur seat.
Basavaraj is the sitting Member of Parliament from Tumkur.
Image: B Sreeramalu