Bangalore, Jan 4: The BJP Saturday staked claim to be recognised as the main opposition party in the Karnataka assembly following the decision of the Karnataka Janata Party led by B. S. Yeddyurappa to merge with it.
Former chief minister Jagadish Shettar told reporters here that a team led by him submitted a letter to Speaker Kagodu Thimmappa seeking the status of main opposition party.
On Friday, Yeddyurappa, a former BJP leader, informed Thimmappa that his party was merging with Bharatiya Janata Party and four of its six members should be recognised as BJP members. Two KJP members have opposed the merger with BJP.
With the merger, the BJP strength in the 225-member assembly goes up to 44, its own 40 members and KJP’s four.
The main opposition party is Janata Dal-Secular which too has 40 seats.
In the May 2013 assembly elections, the JD-S and BJP won 40 seats each while the Congress returned to power bagging 122.
Since the JD-S’ vote share was higher than BJP, it was recognised as the main opposition party in the house.
Thimmappa told reporters he will legally examine the issue and decide.
Yeddyurappa quit BJP December last year to head KJP.
Shettar also said that Yeddyurappa and his supporters will formally rejoin BJP on Jan 9 at a function in the party office in Bangalore.
Meanwhile KJP founder Padmanabha Prasanna Kumar also petitioned Thimmappa not to recognise KJP’s merger with BJP as he was opposed to it.
Kumar registered KJP with Election Commission in 2011. After Yeddyurappa joined it and became president, Kumar was named vice president.
The Election Commission subsequently recognised Yeddyurappa as KJP president.
However following differences, Kumar has filed cases in a Bangalore court challenging Yeddyurappa’s election as KJP president.