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Jul 11, 2013 at 02:58pm IST

Yeddyurappa rules out merger with BJP, but says can have pre-poll ties

Bangalore: Former Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa on Thursday said there is no question of merger with the Bharatiya Janata Party. He said, "The BJP is our first preference for pre-poll alliance, third front is our second choice but there is no question of alliance with the Congress."

Karnataka Janatha Paksha chief indicated he is not averse to return to the BJP as he admitted publicly for the first time that he and some senior national BJP leaders had discussed his homecoming.

The former BJP strongman, however, said he would take an "appropriate decision at an appropriate time".

"I have already received many such types of communication from BJP President Rajnath Singh and other senior leaders (on his return). I haven't come to any decision. I will discuss it with my colleagues and arrive at a decision," he said.

Moves are on for the past few weeks within a section of the BJP and KJP for the return of Yeddyurappa, whose party secured 10 per cent vote share in the Assembly polls which saw BJP's rout and installation of the Congress government.

On reported insistence of the BJP leaders that he takes the initiative, he said, "The question of who makes the first move does not arise." Asked whether he would be happy to rejoin the BJP, Yeddyurappa said, "I have not come to any decision."

Yeddyurappa said he has no personal opinion on the issue as he represents a party. "I have not received any formal or official communication from the BJP on my return."

Asked if wants to repeat the performance of BJP which won 18 of the 28 Lok Sabha seats from Karnataka in the last polls, he said, "Wait and see. Lok Sabha elections are going to take

place. We will see how other parties react. We will take a decision at an appropriate time."

Yeddyurappa said the question of aligning with any other party does not arise and KJP wants to keep its separate identity. "Most of the party members want to retain the party's identity," he argued.

On Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's elevation as the campaign committee chief, Yeddyurappa said he is the "tallest" leader and about 60 per cent of the people

appreciate his leadership.

"Not only Yeddyurappa, people all across the country want to see him as the Prime Minister," he said.

(With Additional Inputs from PTI)