BJP leaders willing to join Congress, says minister

A day after state BJP President B S Yeddyurappa claimed that several leaders from Congress and JD(S) were ready to join his party, Karnataka Municipality and Local Bodies Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi today said people from the saffron party were in touch with him to join Congress.

"BJP people are in touch with us...they want to join our party," Jarkiholi said.

Speaking to reporters at Belagavi, he said the Congress high command would decide about inducting them.

Not wishing to give any numbers about how many of them were willing to join Congress, the Minister, in response to a question, said "you can say that they are in touch with me."

Amid discontent among some of the ruling coalition members in Karnataka, Yeddyurappa had claimed at the party executive meet yesterday that several leaders from both Congress and JD(S) were ready to join the BJP.

Defending former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah's statement against presentation of a fresh budget, Jarkiholi said he had only given a suggestion and it was left to Kumaraswamy to take a decision on whether to accept it or not.

"But our intention has been fulfilled as it has been agreed to continue the schemes and programmes of our earlier Congress government."

Discordant voices have emerged from the Congress and JDS on a host of issues, including presentation of the budget, as Siddaramaiah, who held the finance portfolio in the previous government, had recently said there was no need for a fresh budget and insisted that a supplementary budget would suffice.

Kumaraswamy, who also holds the finance portfolio in the current coalition government, is scheduled to present the budget on July 5.

Meanwhile, Congress MLA and former Minister M B Patil, who had emerged as the leader of a group of dissident MLAs, upset about not making it to the Ministry during the June 6 Cabinet expansion, today met CLP leader Siddaramaiah.

Siddaramaiah had returned to Bengaluru on June 28 after undergoing treatment for 12 days at a nature cure hospital in Dharmasthala.

Patil, considered an aspirant for a ministerial post in the second round of cabinet expansion, termed it as a 'courtesy visit.'

"there was no politics..." he said.


(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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