A moderate crowd and a lone leader

A moderate crowd and a lone leader

 The atmosphere at the public meeting of former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa and the subsequent padayatra to submit his resignation as MLA to the Assembly Speaker were akin to an election rally. But, unlike in poll rallies, Yeddyurappa was the lone man leading his new party.

 For Yeddyurappa, it was a day that marked the end of his four-decade-long association with the Bharatiya Janata Party. His supporters called it a “historic day.”

The moderate crowd that had gathered at Freedom Park, the venue of the meeting, had brought with them placards displaying the programmes launched by Yeddyurappa as the chief minister.

A huge cutout behind the makeshift stage had the slogan ‘Hosa Huttu Padiyona, Hosa Nadu Kattona’ (Let us take a new birth and build a new state), the motto of Yeddyurappa’s new political outfit that he plans to formally launch in Haveri on December 9.

Five MLAs, four MLCs and two MPs shared the dais with Yeddyurappa openly defying party State president K S Eshwarappa’s diktat that strict disciplinary action would be initiated against those who identify themselves with the Karnataka Janata Party.

In his 20-minute address, Yeddyurappa got nostalgic, played the betrayal card, touched on the pro-people programme he had launched and wooed the minorities - sending a message that he was keen on entering the political space of the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular).

Yeddyurappa said it was the saddest day in his life that he had to bid goodbye to the BJP. “I have been associated with the party for the last 40 years. Quitting the BJP does not give me any pleasure. But I have been betrayed by my own people,” he said. But unlike in the past, he did not name any individual. He said he would strive to make Karnataka a model state for others to emulate.

Earlier, KJP general secretary and MLC M D Lakshminarayana said 50,000 people had written to Yeddyurappa urging him to launch a new regional party and promising him their support.

Yeddyurappa had to drop his plans to garland the statues of Basaveshwara and Mahatma Gandhi due to traffic restrictions.

He later walked to the Vidhana Soudha with his supporters to submit his resignation of the membership of the State Assembly (Shikaripura constituency) to Speaker K G Bopaiah, which was subsequently accepted.

B P Harish, Hartal Halappa, D S Suresh, Nehru Olekar, S I Chikkanagoudar (MLAs), Bharati Shetty, Mumtaz Ali Khan (MLCs) and G S Basavaraj (MP) accompanied him.

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