Bangalore : The ‘prodigal son’ of the BJP in Karnataka, B S Yeddyurappa, formally returned home on Thursday to a rather quiet and subdued welcome, more than a year after he deserted the party, called it names and floated his own outfit.
At a time fixed by astrologers, a glum-looking Yeddyurappa entered the party office where he was welcomed by BJP Karnataka unit President Prahlad Joshi and other senior state leaders. No hugging or distribution of sweets took place as he was given the party primary membership. Strangely, no national leader was present.
Later, he told a mixed gathering: “Let us forget the past…Let us remove the mutual suspicion and work together as the children of one mother.” Yeddyurappa had announced the decision of his party Karnataka Janata Paksha (KJP) to merge with BJP a week ago. He reasoned out his home coming saying, “Because of our certain wrong decisions” the Congress, which had been pushed to the corner, has returned to power in Karnataka, and added, “we had committed an unpardonable crime (by enabling it).”
He exuded confidence that with his return, the BJP would win more than 20 of the 28 Lok Sabha seats in Karnataka in the general election. BJP had secured 18 Lok Sabha seats in the last election.
And his new slogans: “Pardon our mistakes. We will not repeat them.”
“We have come together with an open mind,” said Joshi, after welcoming Yeddyurappa in the presence of former Chief Ministers D V Sadananda Gowda and Jagadish Shettar and national General Secretary Ananth Kumar.
Ananth Kumar, a bete noire of Yeddyurappa, said, “we will never separate. We will be together. We will fight together.”
“We welcome KJP with an open mind and wholeheartedly,” Kumar said. “The countdown for the end of the Congress-led government at the Centre and in Karnataka has started with this unity move”.