BSY installs loyalist as president of new party

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Bangalore, Nov 9: Former Karnataka Chief Minister and BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa on Friday installed loyalist V Dhananjaya Kumar as the president of Karnataka Janatha Paksha (KJP) as he prepared to quit the BJP next month.

Kumar, who served as Union minister of state for finance and textiles in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government in the past, was expelled from the BJP recently after he opposed current Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar.

KJP sources said Kumar would serve as the interim president before Yeddyurappa would take over the party leadership once the new party is formally launched at a rally in Haveri district of Karnataka on Dec 9. It is said that the former CM will sever all ties with the BJP by then.

Sources said KJP is a registered state political party which came into being only last year and has not contested in any election so far. Its president Prasanna Kumar resigned from the president's post on Friday, paving way for Kumar to take over.

He said BSY was being requested to formally join the KJP and lead it. He said that he was confident that BSY would soon join the party. Kumar also slammed both the Congress and BJP, saying neither of the two parties were taking regional problems seriously and the recent Cauvery water dispute is an example of that. He said both national parties failed to say a single thing in favour of Karnataka in the dispute. A regional party was the need of the day, he said.

KJP sources also said that MD Lakshminarayana and KH Srinivasa were appointed as the party's general secretary and senior vice-president, respectively.

BS Yeddyurappa, who became the first BJP chief minister of Karnataka in 2008, said there was no question of him reconsidering the decision to quit the BJP.

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