Yeddy defends defections of MLAs to BJP

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Bangalore, July 6 (UNI) Strongly defending the admission of sitting MLAs from opposition into the BJP, Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa today said they had come on their own and they would be 'accommodated suitably' in the government.

Speaking to newspersons after garlanding the portrait of former Deputy Prime Minister Babu Jagjivan Ram here, he said he welcomed all those who wished to join BJP after accepting its ideologies and policies.

Denying the opposition's charge that BJP in its bid to gain a majority on its own in the Assembly, he said, ''the charge is baseless.'' Referring to Congress MLA J Narasimhaswamy, who had quit his Doddaballapur assembly seat and joined BJP today, Chief Minister said as the former had expressed his desire to join the party he was admitted.

''We are not in favour of coercing any legislator to join BJP, but would welcome if they wish to come on their own,'' he said.

Mr Yeddyurappa did not deny more such defections of the sitting members in the coming days.

Replying to questions, Chief Minister said with the induction of JD(S) and Congress MLAs into the party, there was no question of ignoring the independent MLAs, five of whom were ministers in his cabinet.

He also did not rule out the possibility of expansion of his ministry before the budget session beginning from July 17.

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