He charges the party with not allowing him to give ticket to minority candidates
The former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, who recently severed his 30-year association with the Bharatiya Janata Party to join the Karnataka Janata Paksha (KJP), has a new grouse against the BJP — that it cramped his innate secularism. As Chief Minister, he was not allowed to “properly implement” his secular agenda, he alleges.
As examples, he cited the refusal of his party to give ticket to minorities to contest the previous Assembly elections, during an interview with The Hindu in Bangalore on Thursday. “If I had my way, I would have given ticket to the minorities,” he claimed.
Recalling that his government had inducted Mumtaz Ali Khan into the Ministry and later nominated him to the Upper House, he said subsequent BJP dispensations did not retain him. This had resulted in lack of representation to minority communities in the ministry.
“Similarly, the party did not allow me to provide ministerial representation to Scheduled Caste-Right community,” he alleged.
He alleged that he was made to quit as Chief Minister by a “group of people” in the State and Central party units to make way for his political opponent Ananth Kumar to occupy that post. “Even party veteran leader L.K. Advani wanted Ananth Kumar to become Chief Minister,” he alleged.
Mr. Yeddyurappa, who is getting ready to put up a show of strength in Haveri on December 9 to mark his joining the KJP, said the event was an effort to send a “strong political message” that only a strong regional party could work for the development of the State and its interests.
He said he was not worried about the BJP’s plans to expel the MLAs attending his rally as he had already told the MLAs, ministers and MPs to skip his rally. However, about 50 MLAs from the BJP would join his outfit after the completion of the Assembly term, he said. When asked why he was playing such a cat-and-mouse game instead of directly asking his supporters from among MLAs to join his outfit now itself, he said he did not want to be seen as a person who brought down the Jagadish Shettar government.
He emphatically ruled out a pre-poll or post-poll alliance with any of the political parties, and strongly denied that he would have a tacit understanding with the Opposition Congress. Mr. Yeddyurappa exuded confidence that he would become Chief Minister again and the KJP would be in power after the next Assembly polls.
The former Chief Minister, who said he wants to be remembered in politics as a “fighter,” has decided to embark upon a State tour perhaps through rath yatra to strengthen the KJP after the Haveri rally.
Seeking to downplay the ongoing cases of corruption against him, he demanded that instances of denotification of lands by the Chief Ministers in the last 10 years should be probed, instead of singling him out. “As per the judgment of Justice Santosh Hegde, officials should be made responsible for any lapses related to denotification,” he said while maintaining that his actions were aimed at “public good”.