Former Karnataka chief minister B S Yeddyurappa likes to play the cat and mouse game with the BJP high command. Angered at not being given the BJP state president’s post, he has launched a series of verbal missiles at the high command. Last week, while addressing a BJP workers’ meet, he created quite a stir when he said that he will return as the chief minister of the state in the next Assembly elections. He took an indirect dig at BJP national leaders saying he did not need the support of anybody but common people and farmers. “As long as I have people’s support, nobody can finish me,” he said.
Coming down heavily on opposition parties as well as his own party leaders for “dislodging” him from the chief minister’s post, Yeddyurappa claimed he had not committed any mistake during his three-year tenure as chief minister. On his state-wide tour, he said, “My tour is to inform people about the good work I have done.”
The biggest bomb was yet to explode, a day later while addressing a press conference he said, “For me, self-respect is more important than anything, including the posts of chief minister or state BJP president. I have tolerated enough humiliation, but not anymore. I will quit the party if the attitude of leaders towards me continues like this.”
Yeddyurappa’s plan to start a political party using the Lingayat card has been emboldened by the rise of caste politics in the state Congress party. Congress Lingayat leaders are demanding that a leader from their community be made the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president, but the high command does not seem to be interested. Meanwhile, the Opposition leader in the Assembly Siddaramaiah met Rahul Gandhi to discuss the Congress party’s affairs in the state.