Says he has no plans to bring down Shettar govt; his party will contest in 2013 Assembly elections
After months of speculation, former Karnataka chief minister and Lingayat strong man BS Yeddyurappa finally resigned from the BJP party for which he toiled for 40 years. Yeddyurappa, who ascribed betrayal on the part of high command as reason for his resignation, also resigned from his Shikaripura Assembly constituency on Friday 30 November.
Yeddyurappa, who submitted his resignation on Friday to speaker KG Bopaiah, said his decision to resign was painful, since he had toiled for four decades for the party and had built it from scratch in Karnataka, finally bringing the BJP to power for the first time in South India in 2008.
An emotional Yeddyurappa ascribed his decision to resign as betrayal on the part of the party high command who refused to reinstate him as chief minister, and on a senior leader in the party who conspired against him in order to become the chief minister himself. Yeddyurappa, who also faxed his resignation letter to BJP president Nitin Gadkari said, “More than the Opposition, it was the inside forces which troubled and tormented me. Some leaders sitting in Delhi started spreading canards about me and made the central leaders to believe what they said.’’
Yeddyurappa however said that from now on, he would not take pot shots on the central leaders but act as the Opposition leader as the current government under fellow Lingayat and chief minister Jagadish Shettar has failed many development issues. However, he said, he has no plans to bring down the current government. “But if they sideline my supporters or intimidate them, then it’s a different issue,’’ he added.
Reacting to Yeddyurappa’s resignation, Karnataka BJP party president KS Eshwarappa said, “It’s a big loss for Yeddyurappa.”
Yeddyuappa, who was Jansangh member during formative years of his political career, was more eager to project his secular image on Friday. Addressing a gathering of his supporters at Freedom Park earlier in the day, he said only a strong regional party can guarantee an overall development of Karnataka. “This party is for Hindus, Muslims, Christians; this party is for everyone. Look at other states in the country like Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab. All these states have strong regional parties, only when we have 20 Mps, we can ensure that the Centre will give enough funds to develop the state,’’ Yeddyurappa said. He also said that if his party is brought to power, he would ensure the state is free of communal strife and would strive towards economic upliftment of both Dalits and the minorities.
Yeddyurappa, who formally joined Karnataka Janatha Party (KJP) on Friday, said that the party would field candidates for all the 224 constituencies in the coming elections, and he was hopeful that he would get a majority. Along with Yeddyurappa, former congress leaders Jabbar Khan Honnali, BR Patil and former JD(S) MLA MP Vishwanath also joined KJP on Friday.
Imran Khan is a Senior Correspondent with Tehelka.