Some leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Karnataka unit are ready to switch their loyalties if the ruling party fails to come back to power.
Basavaraj Bommai, Umesh Katti and Murugesh Nirani -- the three leaders considered to be the most loyal to former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa -- had raised many eyebrows when they didn’t join his Karnataka Janata Party.
According to sources within the BJP, nearly 15 leaders decided to stay back in the party as they needed the national party's symbol to win the elections.
In case the KJP manages to win a few seats and gets the chance to play kingmaker after the general election, all these leaders will lose no time in changing parties.
The “party hoppers” are hopeful that the Congress will seek the support of the KJP to form the next government in Karnataka.
Meanwhile, the Janata Dal – Secular is on a poaching spree and has already managed to wean away 10 candidates from the BJP and the Congress.
The JD-S expects more disgruntled leaders from the BJP and the Congress to join the party after they fail to find a place in the final list of their parties.
Congress Members of Legislative Assembly Raju Gouda, Manappa Vajjal and H S Shankaralinge Gowda, among others, have already joined the JD-S.
Prominent BJP leaders who have latched on to the JD-S are Shashil Namoshi and Belur Gopalakrishna, who will formally join the party on Sunday.
Parimala Nagappa, wife of former minister Nagappa, who was slain by forest brigand Veerappan, has also joined the JD-S after she was denied a ticket by Yeddyurappa.
Sources say that the party is confident of at least 10 more senior leaders walking out of their respective parties to seek refuge in the JD-S.