BSY quits BJP, finally
Resigns from Assembly, dons a secular cap
Announcing snapping of ties with the BJP, the Sangh Pariwar and his resignation from the State Legislative Assembly, B S Yeddyurappa on Friday declared he would position his Karnataka Janata Party (KJP) as a challenger to the BJP.
In a clear signal that he was distancing himself from the BJP, the former chief minister indicated that he would portray the KJP as a regional and secular party.
Yeddyurappa, who played a pivotal role in helping the ‘lotus’ bloom in Karnataka, turned emotional at the moment of his exit from the BJP which he helped to build in Karnataka. His eyes moist, Yeddyurappa told mediapersons that he was walking out of the party with “a heavy heart” but he had no choice as “enemies” within the BJP did not want him there.
“Sitting in front of God in my pooja room this morning, I wept. It is with great sadness that I am quitting the BJP. I was not after power. In case I was after power, I could have dissolved the Assembly soon after the Lokayukta report was submitted to the government,” he said.
On corruption charges against him, he said, “I have done nothing wrong. I will come out clean. I was victimised by some people of my own party.”
On his newly launched Karnataka Janata Party, Yeddyurappa said, “I will work for the comprehensive development of the State by bringing the Karnataka Janata Party to power. I will assure by writing in blood that I will not sleep till I achieve my aim,” he declared.
To project KJP as a ‘secular’ party,Yeddyurappa ensured that a considerable number of leaders from the minority communities shared the dais with him at the Freedom Park, where he addressed his followers later. Jabbar Khan Honnali, who has migrated from the Congress to the KJP, and former minister Mumtaz Ali Khan were with him.
Before formally dissociating himself from the national party BJP with which he was associated for more than four decades, the 69-year-old expressed his new found admiration for regional parties. He urged youth to opt for regional parties in protecting the interest of the State. He cited the example of Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Punjab and Tamil Nadu where regional parties are ruling the roost. He also said these States have been sending not less than 20 MPs to Lok Sabha in every election.
“After the nuclear attack on Japan, it was said that at least 50 years were required even for grass to grow. But youth of Japan made their country a superpower within 20 years. Issues like the Cauvery river water sharing and classical status to Kannada could be better fought with the Centre if regional parties are in power,” he claimed. He said the KJP would contest all the 224 Assembly seats and had already selected candidates for 100 seats.
With his resignation, the BJP’s strength in the Assembly has come down to 117. Yeddyurappa represented Shikaripur constituency of Shimoga district, in the Assembly. He submitted his handwritten resignation to Assembly Speaker K G Bopaiah in the Vidhana Soudha, and his letter quitting the primary membership of the BJP has been forwarded to party president Nitin Gadkari.
Yeddyurappa minced no words in expressing his displeasure with the BJP for not fulfilling its promises to him, including reinstating him as the chief minister. He did not name his former party colleagues even as he fulminated against them.
The Speaker has already intimated the Election Commission regarding the vacancy of the Shikaripur seat. The former CM is now a KJP member.
He said the KJP would contest all the 224 assembly seats and had already selected candidates for 100 seats.
“After the nuclear attack on Japan, it was said that at least 50 years were required even for grass to grow. But youths of Japan made their country a super power within 20 years. Issues like the Cauvery river water sharing and classical status to Kannada could be better fought with the Centre if regional parties are in power,” he claimed.
To drive home the impression that the KJP would be a ‘secular’ party,Yeddyurappa ensured that a considerable number of leaders from the minority communities shared dais with him. Jabbar Khan Honnali, who has migrated from the Congress to the KJP and former minister Mumtaz Ali Khan, were presented with Yeddyurappa.
Central leaders mum
The BJP central leadership on Friday refused to react to former chief minister of Karnataka B S Yeddyurappa’s decision to walk out of the party.
Earlier, top BJP leaders had failed to persuade Yeddyurappa to stay in the party. Several leaders, including Arun Jaitley, Venkaiah Naidu and Prakash Javadekar, whom Deccan Herald contacted, refused to react to the development. Karnataka in-charge General Secretary Dharmendra Pradhan was not reachable.
However, the top brass is confident that the BJP MPs from Karnataka will toe the party-line during the voting in Parliament on FDI in multi-brand retail. It is learnt that Yeddyurappa rejected the offer of the BJP high command, which tried to retain him in the party by offering him the post of party state president. Terming the exit of the Lingayat leader a setback to the party, a senior leader said it will harm both himself as well as the party in Karnataka.
Political history shows that none of the leaders who quit the BJP to form their own party on the foundation of caste have succeeded to make a mark, he said.
Citing examples of Kalyan Singh, Uma Bharati and Keshubhai Patel, who miserably failed, the leader said Yeddyurappa will also face the same fate. However, he admitted that it will damage the BJP.