Smarting since his removal from the chief minister’s post, BJP strongman in Karnataka BS Yeddyurappa has announced that he will leave the party and will form his own party after touring the state till December.
“I am not going to join any national outfit. I may build a new party. I will announce my decision after touring parts of the state, probably in December”, he told reporters in Chikmagalur.
His statement came after speculation that he was exploring the option of joining parties like Janata Party, Samajwadi Party or Janata Dal (United).
Yeddyurappa, who has been cut up with the BJP central leadership over being sidelined, ruled out any conciliatory talks, saying “it is a closed chapter for me to hold any discussion with BJP high command”.
He said the party leadership, including President Nitin Gadkari, had “deceived” him in the last six months after making promises of giving him positions like that of the Chief Minister or President of the state unit.
“But, he did not take any decision. He told me that if the court gives any relief then I will be made the Chief Minister. I got relief from the court, but the national leaders have deceived me,” he told NDTV.
The Lingayat strongman, who led BJP to its first ever government in the south in the last assembly elections, said he will not ask his supporters, including MLAs in BJP to join his party, and added “it is left to them to decide”. The BJP leader was responsible for putting Sadananda Gowda in the chief minister’s chair and then replacing him with Jagadish Shettar.
In a sign that he was serious about leaving the party, Yeddyurappa did not meet BJP troubleshooter Arun Jaitley and General Secretary Dharmendra Pradhan who visited the state.
Yeddyurappa said he still has respect for AB Vajpayee and LK Advani, but after Vajpayee, there is no united leadership to guide the party.
He also cited the examples of some leaders in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Delhi to buttress his claim that leaders were treated shabbily.
The former Chief Minister also said Gandhi and Congress had never made any “scapegoats” of leaders going by “false allegations”.
If the former Chief Minister chooses to leave the BJP, its near certain the state government is likely to collapse, taking down with it the party’s hopes of making the state its bastion in the south. However, whether Yeddyurappa is overestimating his chances of surviving the coalition politics of Karnataka is something only time will tell.
With inputs from PTI