Former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa’s four-decade long association with the BJP will come to a bitter end on Friday — and true to Yeddyurappa’s style, he is set to make it a big event that could bring the city to a halt.
It will be almost a replay of the events that Bangalore witnessed 15 months ago when he went in a huge procession to Raj Bhavan to submit his resignation as the chief minister. This time Yeddyurappa will go in a procession from the Freedom Park to Vidhana Soudha to submit his resignation from the legislative assembly membership to Speaker KG Bopaiah. He will also quit from the primary membership of the BJP.
Preparations are on for a big rally of his supporters at the Freedom Park on Friday morning as a show of strength to BJP national leaders who refused to accept his demand to make him the BJP state president or name him as the party’s chief ministerial candidate in the next assembly election. Yeddyurappa will address the rally of his supporters before heading towards Vidhans Soudha to submit the resignation.
Even as BJP is preparing to face the next assembly polls without Yeddyurappa, efforts are on to dissuade the fence sitters in the party from joining KJP, the regional party to be launched by Yeddyurappa on December 9.
On Friday, law and parliamentary affairs minister Suresh Kumar appealed to Yeddyurappa to reconsider his decision of quitting the BJP. Kumar tried to maintain a brave front by claiming that no BJP legislators or MPs would join KJP.
“The reports that 50 BJP MLAs and 8 MPs joining KJP are baseless. I am confident that nobody will go to KJP,” he said. Expressing his dismay at Yeddyurappa’s stand, Kumar said that it is unfair on part of Yeddyurappa to quit the party just because he has been hurt by one or two bitter incidents in the party. “Yeddyurappa has contributed immensely for the growth of BJP, but he has also derived coveted posts and huge stature from the party,” he added.
“Yeddyurappa has enjoyed power and status over the past several years. There are innumerable party workers who toiled for the party without getting anything in return. One should continue to serve the party swallowing whatever bitter experiences,” Suresh Kumar said.
The exit of Yeddyurappa is expected to deliver a huge blow for the prospects of BJP in the forthcoming assembly elections. The split of the BJP vote bank, especially in the Lingayat belt of northern Karnataka, charges of corruption and the anti incumbency factor could deliver a lethal blow for BJP. Yeddyurappa is confident of succeeding in his game plan to emerge as a king maker by winning about 20 to 30 seats and be a part of the next government.
Yeddyurappa’s determination to decimate BJP has brought the spring back in Congress leaders’ fight in the poll arena. Desperate to bounce back to power after a gap of 8 years, the grand old party is already sensing a bree if not a wave in its favour. The split in BJP votes is almost certain to improve the tally of Congress in the next assembly elections. The overtures from Yeddyurappa for a post-poll alliance has only further boosted the confidence of Congress to see its own Chief Minister taking the oath within next 6 months.
But the birth of KJP is unlikely to be a sweet news for JD(S), which has been trying to project itself as the only regional party in the state over the years. With KJP too raising its pitch to carve out a niche as the “True Regional Party”, JD(S) is also expected to lose its bargaining power over formation of a government if the election throws up a hung assembly, which is almost certain to be a reality.
However, the birth of one more political party without sound ideological foundations is expected to further weaken the prospects of seeing healthy and stable governments in the state, which has already seen the ugly side of coalition governments, Congress-JD(S) and then JD(S)-BJP, in the recent past.