Known for his emotional outbursts, former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa is now positively angry, very angry indeed. The man who had recently assured that he would not do anything to destabilise the Jagadish Shettar government has since hardened his stand. Yeddyurappa is now ready to pull the plug on the Shettar government if the BJP leadership cracks the whip on his loyalists after the Karnataka Janata Party (KJP) rally to be held in Haveri on December 9. Yeddyurappa lets loose some steam in a candid interview with Hemanth Kumar of DNA. Excerpts:
KJP seems to have suffered a blow even before its launch as many of your staunch loyalists like V Somanna have stayed away?
I don’t agree. I did not launch KJP by being dependent on any individual. I decided to severe my 40-year-long association with BJP and float a regional party to realise my dream of building a happy and prosperous Karnataka. Many leaders, including prominent BJP ministers and legislators, will join KJP after the Haveri rally on December 9.
Even your staunch loyalists like Shobha Karandlaje and SR Vishwanath don’t seem too keen to join KJP.
Shobha will join KJP at an appropriate time in the coming days. She will have a prominent role in the party. As for MLAs from Bangalore like SR Vishwanath, they have their own reasons keeping in mind the electorate of their constituencies. But I can understand that. I’ve nothing against them. There are so many people eager to join the party.
Why are you creating trouble for the Shettar government by inviting BJP ministers and MLAs to participate in the Haveri rally?
If BJP thinks that attending a breakfast meeting with me or turning up at the Haveri rally on December 9 is a crime, then I cannot be blamed for the consequences. I am not bothered even if it leads to the collapse of the Shettar government. I have only assured that I will not harm the Shettar government on my own. But I cannot remain a mute spectator if disciplinary action is taken against my loyalists. I am not bothered even if the Shettar government goes today itself. It could go any day after December 9 if action is taken against my loyalists. I expect a good number of ministers and MLAs to attend the breakfast meeting with me on December 9 in Haveri.
You say you are not after power or any post, but quit BJP after being denied power.
No. I quit the party only because the BJP national leaders in collusion with a few state leaders hatched a conspiracy to finish me off politically with an eye on the post of the chief minister. So I had to revolt against them.
You fought against Congress all through your life. How can you now turn soft towards that party?
It is not correct to say that I have turned friendly towards Congress. We are fielding our candidates in all the 224 constituencies in the next assembly election. There is no alliance or understanding with any party.