The Karnataka Janata Party (KJP) President B S Yeddyurappa on Thursday said he was working towards putting together an ‘united front’ of like-minded parties and organisations that would emerge as an alternative to the BJP, the Congress and the JD(S) in the forthcoming Assembly polls.
Speaking at a convention of KJP candidates who contested in the recent Urban Local Bodies (ULB) polls at the Palace Grounds in Bangalore, Yeddyurappa said the KJP would lead the front that would strive for protecting the interests of the State, its language and its people. The KJP will contest all the 224 Assembly seats with the political support of the front, he said.
It is apparent from Yeddyurappa’s announcement that he has started to change gears in his approach to the Assembly elections as his party failed to establish its credentials as a major force in its first electoral test during the ULB polls.
While the KJP could win 274 of the 4,976 seats, it drew a blank in nine districts and could not secure even a single seat in 137 of the 208 ULBs. Apparently, Yeddyurappa is now looking to consolidate the position of his party electorally by seeking the support of fringe parties and organisations.
Yeddyurappa said he had already spoken to Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha President K S Puttannaiah, Praja Pragathi Ranga President Kodihalli Chandrashekar, Karnataka Rakshana Vedike’s Praveen Shetty, Samatha Sainik Dal President M Venkataswamy and leaders of smaller parties such as Kannada Paksha and Lok Janashakti.
When contacted by Deccan Herald Kodihalli Chandrashekar said Praja Pragathi Ranga (PPR), an umbrella body of 16 organisations including a couple of political parties had held several rounds of talks with Yeddyurappa.
“We are ready for an alliance if the KJP’s policies matches our ideology of the uplift of the downtrodden. We will announce our stand at a convention of PPR to held in Bangalore on March 27,” he said.
At the KJP convention, Yeddyurappa said he would hold one more round of talks with the leaders and convince them to support the KJP.
Training his guns again on the BJP, he claimed that the party had bitten the dust during the last few months to such an extent that it was not even in a position to appoint its state president. He claimed that the recent ULB elections had proved that his exit had led to the BJP’s debacle in the polls. The KJP would emerge as a strong regional outfit in the Assembly polls, he claimed.
Former minister Shobha Karandlaje said that Yeddyurappa would model his administration of the State on one rendered by Kittur Rani Chennamma.
“You should play the role of Sangolli Rayanna (army chief of Kittur) and ensure the victory of Yeddyurappa in the polls,” she told her party workers.