This is a golden period for me: BS Yediyurappa

Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa. (DH Photo)

Having completed 100 days in office, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, 76, has a lot on his plate. The immediate challenge, he tells Bharath Joshi of DH, is to face the crucial December 5 bypolls. Excerpts:

There was vigour, anger and whirl in the Yediyurappa we saw ten years ago.

It’s one thing to fight when you’re in the Opposition. It’s another thing to use all the experience you have and work for development quietly when in power. What’s more important now? For me to just speak heroically or work silently for the state’s development?

What’s your vision for the state?

Comprehensive development. When is it that people live? It’s when a farmer gets water and right price for his produce. So, my priority is the farmer and irrigation. This is a golden period for me because the BJP is in power both at the Centre and here. 

What about Bengaluru? 

Everybody’s eyes are on Bengaluru. Two meetings have been held with experts and there’s another one on November 6. We’ll take their inputs on issues pertaining to the city. 

How bad is the state’s financial position? 

The financial position is good. There’s no fund crunch per se. The trouble is with adjustment due to the crop loan waiver. Secondly, unexpected floods need a lot of funds.

There’s criticism that your son Vijayendra interferes with the administration.

This is deliberate misinformation. You won’t find any Indian CM’s house without wife and kids, but Yediyurappa is an exception. Be it my official quarters or own house, I live alone. Vijayendra is the BJP Yuva Morcha general secretary and Raghavendra is an MP. Where’s the question of interference?

We hear you have a tussle with BJP national general secretary (organisation) B L Santhosh.

Santhosh is cooperating in every way. Just three days back, he and I held talks. There are no differences of opinion between us. 

Isn’t it true that you didn’t know of Laxman Savadi and C N Ashwath Narayan being appointed as your deputies?

Delhi took that decision. We’re a national party and some people will have their own choices. They did this keeping the party’s interests in mind. According to me, there’s no question of having more deputies.

Last year, you vowed to fight the Gowda family. But it doesn’t look like that anymore.

That’s changed. Our goal now is to fight Siddaramaiah, who is creating unnecessary confusion. 

Why did your stand change? 

Political situations change. Both Siddaramaiah and Kumaraswamy are my friends. But look at Siddaramaiah of late. How can he just hurl allegations? We did something that no Indian state has done - to provide Rs 10,000 per hectare extra compensation for crop loss, Rs 5 lakh to build new homes, Rs 5,000 rent for nine months. If Siddaramaiah speaks like a madman, should that become the truth? 

So, will you join hands with Kumaraswamy?

No, why? He’s working by himself to build his party. 

Who’s next after Yediyurappa?

You won’t find an answer to this question now. No one is indispensable in a democracy. I will complete my 3.5-year term. After that, even if I’m not in power, I will work day and night to bring the party to power. If I take a rest, my health will get upset. Believe me. I wake up at 6 am and work till 10 pm. 

Speculation is that you won’t complete your term.

There’s no truth in that. The challenge for us is the December 5 bypolls. We’re confident we will win 12-13 seats. We’ll work for development in peace. For the next three years, I’m 100% confident the central leadership will not cause any disturbance. 

But there’s opposition on fielding the disqualified MLAs.

No final decision has been taken in the first place. We’re waiting for the Supreme Court’s decision.

But, if the BJP doesn’t win 7-8 seats...

My life doesn’t have ‘if’ and ‘but’. Let’s talk again on December 9 when the bypoll results are out.

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