The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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8 legislators set to leave BJP for Cong

New Delhi, Nov. 11: After the face-loss over the Cauvery issue, the Karnataka Congress’ fortunes seem to be looking up with eight BJP legislators set to cross over to the party.

The BJP had expelled the legislators last April for allegedly cross-voting in the Rajya Sabha biennial election, which saw Vijay Mallya win by a huge margin and the official BJP candidate, Tara Devi, facing defeat.

The MLAs are camping in the capital in the hope of meeting the Congress leadership shortly before a formal decision is taken.

BJP sources said the number of cross-voters was over 15 but only eight came out in the open to oppose the party’s official candidate for the biennial poll.

Their expulsion, sources claimed, has helped stem a formal one-third split. The other MLAs apparently held their horses because they felt the rebel camp lacked a focussed leadership. Besides, they were not keen to join the Congress.

Although the BJP was on the upswing in Karnataka in the early nineties and looked set to emerge as the alternative to the Janata Dal, dissidence surfaced once veterans like Shivappa — who founded the Jan Sangh in the state — were ignored and younger leaders like Ananth Kumar and B.S. Yeduriappa taken more seriously by the high command.

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