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Sep 19, 2013 at 08:54am IST

Yeddyurappa aide meets Arun Jaitley; BJP-KJP merger a matter of time?

New Delhi: Days after Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's anointment as BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate, ardent Modi supporter and Karnataka strongman BS Yeddyurappa is all set to return to the NDA. To seal the deal, Yeddyurappa's emissary Leher Singh has met Arun Jaitley.

Leher Singh is also likely to meet BJP President Rajnath Singh and BJP patriarch LK Advani too. The Karnataka Janatha Paksha itself is expected to pass a resolution welcoming Modi as PM candidate.

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The party will also authorise Yeddyurappa to take a decision on whether to reunite with the BJP in a meeting on Thursday. Yeddyurappa had floated the KJP prior to the Karnataka elections after a fallout with Advani over corruption charges.

Yeddyurappa is credited with singlehandedly building and bringing the BJP to power in Karnataka, the first southern state where the party had its government, in 2008. Yeddyurappa was forced to step down as the chief minister after he was indicted by the Karnataka Lokayukta in mining scams and illegal assets cases. He soon quit the BJP and formed the Karnataka Janatha Paksha but failed to make a major impact in the 2013 Assembly elections in the state.

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After his talks with the ruling Congress over a formal tie up in the coming Lok Sabha elections failed, there are reports that the KJP chief has decided to merge his party with the BJP. The RSS has been putting enormous pressure on Yeddyurappa to return to BJP to strengthen Narendra Modi's candidature for the post of the Prime Minister.

But a section in the KJP is opposed to a merger. They are even threatening to quit KJP, if Yeddyurappa goes ahead with the merger. On the other hand the BJP has promised Yeddyurappa the post of leader of opposition in the Assembly and a plum portfolio at the Centre, if it comes to power.

The 70-year-old Lingayat strongman has informed his close associates that it is not possible for him to keep the KJP intact. KJP leaders are meeting on Thursday where Yeddyurappa will announce his party's support to the NDA and Narendra Modi.