Minister for Co-operation S.T. Somashekar, who met disgruntled JD(S) leader and former Minister G.T. Deve Gowda in Mysuru, claimed that about five to six prominent political leaders from Old Mysore Region will be joining the BJP fold shortly.

Speaking to reporters in Mysuru on Saturday, Mr. Somashekar said discussions were underway with the leaders at various levels and they will be admitted after receiving a green signal from the party leadership.

The party president will take a final decision before these political leaders belonging to both Congress and JD(S) are admitted to the party, he said but refused to divulge their names. However, he said they were all prominent political leaders in Mysuru and Old Mysore Region.

To a question, Mr. Somashekar said no terms and conditions had been set by the political leaders to join the BJP.

He said this would be the second batch of political leaders from other parties joining the BJP after about a similar number of leaders from Congress and JD(S) became part of the saffron outfit at a function in Bengaluru.

Former MLC Sandesh Nagaraj and Ashok Jayaram, son of late Minister S.D. Jayaram, both from the JD(S) from Mysuru and Mandya respectively, joined the BJP at a function in the presence of Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and BJP State unit president Nalin Kumar Kateel. The others joining the BJP included former Minister Varthur Prakash, former MLA Manjunath Gowda and former Rajya Sabha member K.B. Krishnamurthy from the Congress.

Mr. Deve Gowda, who is presently the JD (S) MLA representing Chamundeshwari Assembly constituency, has already made it clear that he would not continue in the regional party after the next Assembly elections.

He has already spoken to former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president D.K. Shivakumar evincing interest in joining the Congress if the party gives ticket to him as well as his son Harish Gowda in the next Assembly elections.

While the Congress leaders have said that a decision with regard to meeting Mr. Gowda’s condition is yet to be taken, Mr. Gowda had a few weeks ago claimed that even the BJP was wooing him.

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