'Me and Ananth Kumar Have Learnt Our Lessons'
By Express News Service | Published: 10th January 2014 07:56 AM |
Former Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa who floated the Karnataka Janata Party (KJP) stressing the need for a strong regional party, now says that regional parties cannot have a national outlook. In an interview with Rajashekara S and Hemanth Kumar of The News Indian Express, he said the need of the hour is a strong national party.
You launched KJP a year ago with much fanfare saying that the State needs a strong regional party. Are you a disappointed man today?
The Congress benefited from the division of BJP votes in last Assembly election. It will be a Herculean task to bring the KJP to power in next two to three years. Current situation demands a strong national party to counter the Congress. Moreover, I want to see Narendra Modi as the next Prime Minister.
You have been chanting Modi mantra for long, but he seems to be shy of taking your name in public.
Modi need not take my name. The entire world knows Modi’s good will and trust about me. He expressed happiness when he spoke to me over the phone on my return to the party.
What will be your role in the BJP now?
The party’s national leadership wants me to contest the Lok Sabha election from Shimoga. But I am keen to concentrate on campaigning throughout the State. I am confident of convincing our leaders to allow me focus on campaign.
What is the fate of your followers in the KJP?
From the moment I decided to merge the KJP with the BJP, we are all one. I am confident that the BJP leaders will give suitable position for my followers, including Shobha Karandalaje, C M Udasi, Lakshminarayana and Dhananjay Kumar, beside s a whole lot of them at the district and taluk levels.
You came out of the BJP after a bitter fight with Ananth Kumar. What is the guarantee that the friction will not continue?
I have a clear political goal. I have decided to forget the bitter happenings of the past. We both have learnt our lessons. It is better to concentrate on the future.
Has the BJP set any target for you for the Lok Sabha polls?
No. Nothing of that sort has been discussed. But I have set a target of winning at least 20 seats which is one more than what we won in the previous Lok Sabha polls.
So you want to be the next Chief Minister?
I have already been the Chief Minister. I will not be a Chief Minister candidate again. My mission will be to bring the BJP back to power in the State. Let destiny decide the course after that. People will decide my fate, but I will continue to be in politics till my end.
What is your political goal or vision for the State as you are on the verge of entering national politics?
My goal is to bring the BJP back to power in the State in next Assembly election and contribute towards bringing the BJP government at the centre. The opposition parties in the State have forgotten the grit and fire to lead people’s movements against failures of the government. I want to reignite that fire.
What is your reading of the present political developments in State?
Lok Sabha election will have a significant impact on the State politics. This is the weakest Congress government the State has seen. Considering Siddaramaiah’s experience, I had never imagined this. There is no guarantee of Siddaramaiah continuing as the Chief Minister after the Lok Sabha election. The Chief Minister is not being allowed to work freely. The Coordination Committee has tied his hands. Congress leadership is trying to have a vice-like grip on him. The achievement of this government in 2013-14 has been zero.