Bharatiya Janata Party State president B.S. Yeddyurappa on Sunday said Congress leader and former Minister A. Manju was interested in joining the BJP and contesting the Lok Sabha elections from Hassan.
“Mr. Manju has met me two or three times and expressed his desire to join us. We, however, have not taken a final decision on the issue,” he told reporters in Belagavi.
In his reaction to Mr. Yeddyurappa’s statement, Mr. Manju told The Hindu in Hassan that nothing had been finalised.
“I had spoken to him informally when I met him at a function. But, I have not decided anything. My contest will depend on JD(S) national president Deve Gowda’s next move. It is not yet clear where he (Mr. Gowda) will contest from,” he said.
Mr. Manju said he would think of contesting from Hassan only if Mr. Gowda, incumbent MP, was not contesting this time.
He said, “I have said in the past and I stand by my words that I will support Mr. Gowda if he contests as the candidate of the coalition. I wish he contests.”
Mr. Manju has repeatedly said he would not support Prajwal Revanna, son of Public Works Minister H.D. Revanna, if the JD(S) decides to field him.
“I have openly said, I will not support if Prajwal is the candidate,” he said. When asked about joining the BJP, he quipped that anything could happen.
Meanwhile, Mr. Yeddyurappa said the BJP had not taken any decision on its candidate for the Mandya Lok Sabha seat.
“We will take a call after the coalition partners take a decision on their candidate. We will see who gives ticket to Sumalatha — actor and wife of the former Minister late M.H. Ambareesh — or whether she will contest as an Independent,” he said.
If she were to seek the BJP ticket, the party would take a decision on it, Mr. Yeddyurappa said.
He claimed that Modi wave was 10 times stronger this time when compared with 2014, and that the BJP would win 300 seats in the country.