Zee Media Bureau
Bangalore/New Delhi: Despite strong public opposition by Sushma Swaraj, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday inducted BSR Congress Chief B Sriramulu back into its fold after its top brass decided to allow his entry, but not his party`s merger.
Swaraj who has been vehemently opposing BSR Congress` merger with BJP made it clear that she was also opposed to Sriramulu`s re-entry into the BJP.
"I want to make it absolutely clear that B Sriramulu has been admitted in the party despite my stiff opposition," she tweeted.
I want to make it absolutely clear that B.Sriramulu has been admitted in the party despite my stiff opposition.
— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwarajbjp) March 14, 2014
Earlier, expressing her displeasure at the proposed alliance with BSR, Swaraj had written, “I have conveyed to Rajnath Singh in writing that BJP must not permit this (BSR merger).” And followed it up with a tweet that read, "I am opposed to the BSR alliance or merger with BJP in Karnataka (sic)."
BSR Congress had declared its decision on merger but it ran into trouble after Swaraj publicly opposed his and mining baron Reddy brothers` entry into BJP, saying such "tainted" leaders should not be allowed to be associated with the party.
Sriramulu, who left BJP in November 2011 and formed his own outfit, was once a close aide of mining baron Janardhana Reddy, now in jail in Andhra Pradesh over an illegal mining case.
Sriramulu rejoins BJP
"...Sriramulu has rejoined the party today, Karnataka BJP wholeheartedly welcomes him; all necessary legal procedures will follow," state BJP president Prahalad Joshi told reporters here.
Sriramulu`s homecoming came a day after BJP Parliamentary Board disfavoured the merger but decided to field him as candidate on the party ticket for the Bellary Lok Sabha seat.
Speaking to reporters after his induction, Sriramulu said, "...I have returned to the party as per the wish of all senior party leaders, I am here with an intention to make a true patriot (Modi) the Prime Minister of India..."
"Country`s economic situation has deteriorated; our security is in bad shape... at this juncture we should overcome all our selfish motives and work for the county, and make Narendra Modi our PM. So I have returned to my mother party."
He said he floated his outfit the day he felt his self respect was hurt "but today nothing is more important than the country... we will have to work towards making Modi PM."
When reminded that he was opposed by Swaraj whom he used to call mother, he said, "She is like my mother. She will continue to remain so. We will continue to respect her as mother."
Sriramulu, who wields influence over the Valmiki community, is expected to give incremental value to BJP in the districts of Bellary, Gadag, Koppal and Chitradurga. BSR Congress won four Assembly seats in the May 8 polls last year.
Asked about the merger, the status of MLAs and also about Sriramulu resigning as legislator, former Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar said all formalities would be completed after consulting legal experts.
With PTI Inputs