Did you support Operation Kamala?
Operation Kamala was the biggest blunder committed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and now we are paying a heavy price for it. The brain behind this was none other than my predecessor and Karnataka Janata Party (KJP) president B S Yeddyurappa.
Poaching legislators of other parties should have been stopped soon after the government secured a majority. Unfortunately, Yeddyurappa continued it fearing that the Reddy brothers would pull down his government. This is now resulting in the exodus of legislators to their respective parties after enjoying power.
Will the BJP will be cleansed after the exodus of legislators from other parties?
Yes. BJP is now cleansed after the corrupt Reddy brothers and Yeddyurappa quit. The BJP now has a bunch of leaders who are wedded to the party’s ideology and principles. We can proudly say that what we have is the original BJP, barring a few.
Over 80 per cent of our leaders are honest. Those who joined for the sake of power have left.
Has BJP shed its image as a party of the corrupt?
Our brand image had taken a beating after tainted legislators joined our party. What is happening now is a temporary setback.
But the silver lining is that the BJP is shedding its earlier image of party of the corrupt. We must highlight our programmes and go before the voters to elect us again.
Can the BJP return to power?
It may be difficult to secure a majority but it will definitely emerge as the single largest party as it did in the 2008 Assembly polls. Our aim should be to motivate our 27 lakh members who seem to be in a state of confusion over the recent happenings. We need to energise our workers at the grass-root level to emerge as the single largest party. When Yeddyurappa quit, he had claimed that over 60 legislators would follow him, but only 12 joined the KJP.
Will the Shettar government complete its term?
The government has the required numbers. But it will definitely plunge into problems if four to five more MLAs quit. If that happens, the Shettar government will become a minority and our leaders will sit and decide what should be done. One of the options may be to dissolve the Assembly.
Does Yeddyurappa have an edge in North Karnataka as he claims to be the sole Lingayat leader?
Yeddyurappa is wrong if he thinks that the entire Lingayat community will support him, especially in North Karnataka. To checkmate Yeddyurappa, the BJP has already announced that it will face the coming Assembly polls under the leadership of Shettar who hails from North Karnataka and has strong support among the Lingayats. The KJP will get a drubbing in North Karnataka.
Are you feeling suffocated in the BJP?
Definitely not. The party has given me more than what I expected. I am very happy and I will definitely work for the victory of the BJP in State.
Rumours of you joining JD(S)?
All rubbish. I will continue in the BJP.