It’s a delightful phase in his rebellion-turned-war against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). And former Karnataka CM BS Yeddyurappa is enjoying every bit of it.
Rattling the saffron party with confusion by extending an open invitation to his supporting ministers, MLAs and MPs to the December 10 Haveri convention — where he will launch the Karnataka Janata Paksha (KJP), BSY has maintained he has no intention to topple the Shettar government. “Let Shettar complete his term. No minister or MLA from my camp will tender resignation though they will be working for the new party,” BSY said.
Playing the rebel, the wronged person (he has accused the BJP of keeping him like a “caged parrot”) and the good politician (by hinting he has no interest in toppling Shettar who, like BSY, belongs to the Lingayat community and saying that he would have left the post of the CM had Ananth Kumar asked him to) all at the same time, BSY is buying time to make his next move. BSY has not only frittered BJP’s vote bank, he has made sure its workers understand there is no one to compete with him.
The heart-warming response from BJP workers in Mysore and Chamarajnagar, who turned up in hoards drawing youth workers from the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) to show BSY their support, has pleased BSY no end. “I am taking over as the president of the KJP on December 10 in the presence of around five lakh people.
I want all my supporters, well wishers, including ministers in Jagadish Shettar Cabinet, BJP MLAs and MPs to attend the programme. Let us see what action they (the BJP leadership) would take,” Yeddyurappa said. It has sent tremors down the BJP. Social Welfare Minister A Narayanaswamy reacted by saying, “BSY had become CM because of the BJP.” The national leaders are meeting Karnataka BJP leaders on October 30 in New Delhi.
But BSY’s condition stands valid only if the BJP does not act against his MLAs and ministers till the Haveri convention on December 10. Yeddyurappa claimed he has the support of 60 legislators, 12 ministers and a good number of MPs.
He is waiting to check whether Shettar too will follow in the footsteps of Sadananda Gowda or show his gratitude.
His recent tour to Chamarajnagar and Mysore left BJP workers and leaders confused on whether to stay away or walk with him.
BJP ticket aspirants in both districts who had concentrated on the Assembly constituency for a couple of years have now backed off, fearing that it would be a Herculean task to take on the Congress and JD(S) in old Mysore without Yeddyurappa and his dominant community.
BJP MLC C H Vijayshankar, who arrived at the helipad to receive Yeddyurappa, disappeared during the meeting.
These developments in the BJP have cheered the Congress and JD(S) members. Keen to take advantage, they have intensified their tours in their constituencies and are into political calculations based on caste factors. Meanwhile, Yeddyurappa’s staunch follower V Dhananjakumar, who was recently expelled from the BJP, has joined the KJP.
"With me, around 50 people, including a corporator, have joined the KJP,” Kumar said. He will be attending the KJP executive committee on December 9 where the appointment of Yeddyurappa as the new president is expected to be announced. Kumar also dared the BJP high command to take action against Yeddyurappa, and held state BJP president KS Eshwarappa responsible for the present crisis in the party.