Cong leader Mahadevu to join BJP?

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Mysore, Mar 22 (UNI) In a move that could further bolster the BJP's chances in the district with Assembly elections round the corner, former Karnataka Chief Minister and BJP leader B S Yeddyurappa today called on disgruntled Congress leader M Mahadevu in Nanjangud town, about 25 km from here.

The BJP leader told reporters here that he had invited the former Minister to join the saffron party. ''Mr Mahadevu is a very powerful leader in old Mysore region. He will be a great asset to the BJP,'' he said.

Though Mr Mahadevu confirmed the invitation from BJP, he remained non-committal about joining that party and said he had not yet decided to leave the Congress. He would convey a 'message' to Mr Yeddyurappa in some time, he said.

Strongly criticising former Deputy Chief Minister Siddaramaiah as an 'outsider' who was trying to dominate the party at the cost of true Congressmen, he said ''harassment by these outsiders has become intolerable. I have explained everything to the party high command, which is yet to respond to my complaint.'' The 'deadline' he had set for the high command to take action against Mr Siddaramaiah and his group had ended, Mr Mahadevu said.

JD(S) leader and former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy also wanted to meet him, he added.

Meanwhile, Congress and JD(S) in Chamarjanagara district suffered a jolt, with some prominent leaders of both the parties joining the BJP.

JD(S) general secretary Mallesh and former district Congress president H B Nagaraja Murthy along with a large number of their supporters joined the BJP in the presence of Mr Yeddyurappa, who welcomed them by handing a party flag to each one of them.

Speaking on the occasion, he said Chamarajanagara district leaders had joined the BJP at the 'right time'.

He declared that he would order free power supply to 16 lakh irrigation pumpsets in the State if his party was elected to power.

The party would be organising a women's rally in the city on March 25, which would be addressed by former Union Minister Sushma Swaraj.

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