Bangalore, July 8 : A team of BJP parliament members and state legislators from Karnataka is in New Delhi to lobby with party leaders for the return of former leader B. S. Yeddyurappa to the party.
The team plans to meet party president Rajnath Singh and senior leaders Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley to argue that Yeddyurappa's return would help the Bharatiya Janata Party in the Lok Sabha election next year.
The group, led by former chief minister D. V. Sadananda Gowda and Lok Sabha member from Bangalore North D. B. Chandre Gowda, started campaigning for Yeddyurappa's return following the BJP's rout in the May assembly polls.
Others in the team include former ministers Umesh Katti, Basavarj Bommai, Murugesh Nirani and Aravind Limbavali. Most team members reached New Delhi Sunday and some Monday.
The group decided to approach the party's central leaders directly as it did not receive any positive response from BJP general secretary and in-charge of Karnataka unit Thawarchand Gehlot during his visit here June
Gehlot had said that since Yeddyurappa left the party on his own, he should seek re-entry, which the former chief minister is not willing to do.
Yeddyurappa, largely credited with bringing the BJP to power for the first time in Karnataka in 2008, is reported to be insisting that the central leaders should call him back to the party.
The group has stepped up the campaign following the appointment of Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi as head of the BJP's campaign committee for the Lok Sabha poll.
The group's efforts follow the rout the BJP suffered in May. It won only 40 seats in the 225-member assembly and lost power to the Congress, which bagged 122 seats.
The BJP had won 110 seats in 2008 and formed its first government in Karntaka with Yeddyurappa as chief minister. He was forced to quit in July 2011 over mining bribery charges.
Yeddyurappa left the BJP in December last year to head the Karnataka Janata Party (KJP). The KJP won six seats in the assembly polls.
The BJP has acknowledged that the KJP heavily damaged its chances of retaining power.(IANS)