Will not return to BJP, asserts Yeddyurappa
"I will not go back to BJP. Statements by BJP leaders that I will return to the party are a conspiracy against me," Yeddyurappa, who now heads Karnataka Janata Party, told reporters in this town, about 200 km north of Bangalore.
There is increasing talk in Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) circles in the state that a section of the party central leadership wants Yeddyurappa back in the wake of the party's rout in the recent municipal (urban local bodies) elections in the state.
The BJP won about 900 of the nearly 5,000 seats in the elections held for 207 urban local bodies across the state. The tally was around 200 less than what it had won in 2007, when the party was not in power.
Though Yeddyurappa's KJP won only around 280 seats, it is widely believed that the BJP suffered because of his exit from the party and canvassing against it in the polls.
Elections to the 225-member assembly are due in May and BJP prospects of retaining power it won in May 2008 appear bleak in the wake of its dismal show in the urban local bodies poll.
Several state ministers and BJP parliament members who are close to Yeddyurappa have been issuing statements in the last few days that his return will help the party in the assembly polls.
They say a decision on the issue has been left to the party central leadership.
Yeddyurappa has been saying that his aim is to defeat BJP in the state.
On Tuesday he challenged the party to win 50 seats in the assembly polls under the leadership of the present state BJP chief K.S. Eshwarappa.
"If the party wins 50 seats I will retire from politics," he said at a KJP function in Davangere district, about 70 km from Chitradurga.
Eshwarappa resigned from the party the day (March 7) voting took place for the urban local bodies poll but the BJP central leadership has not taken any decision on it.
The talk in state BJP circles in Karnataka is that the central leadership might ask Eshwarappa to continue in the post till the assembly polls.