Says he has kept the decision in abeyance and will tour districts to get "feedback from the people"
The crisis in the BJP in Karnataka appeared to be reaching the flashpoint, with the former Chief Minister, B.S. Yeddyurappa, publicly threatening on Monday to quit the party if its central leaders did not decide soon on whether he is “needed by the party.”
“I had decided to quit the party today [Monday] itself. But following requests from religious heads, the party's central leaders and elders, I have kept the decision in abeyance. Now, I will make the crucial decision on my political future after getting the feedback from the people during a tour of all districts,” he told a press conference here.
Mr. Yeddyurappa claimed that 40 MLAs, including nine Ministers, had given him their letters of resignation from the Assembly addressed to the Speaker. Another 10-12 MLAs were expected to follow suit. “These legislators want to stand by me in whatever decision I take, including [my] quitting the party.”
Interestingly, though the MLAs of Mr. Yeddyurappa's camp were also present at the press conference, their number was below 25.
Launching a tirade against Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda, BJP State president K.S. Eshwarappa and national general secretary Ananth Kumar, MP, Mr. Yeddyurappa held them responsible for the crisis. Targeting in particular Mr. Gowda, he said: “The Chief Minister has refused to release funds for the development of constituencies of several legislators and MPs supporting me.” It was ironic that these MLAs had backed Mr. Gowda's candidature in the election for BJP Legislature Party leader.
He took exception to Mr. Gowda writing to the high command, accusing six Ministers from the Yeddyurappa camp of indulging in anti-party activities. Pointing out that Mr. Gowda had refused to convene a legislature party meeting to discuss the issue, he demanded that it be called at least now.
He made it clear that he was neither demanding the post of Chief Minister nor suggesting anyone's name for it.
Asked whether he was still demanding that Mr. Gowda be replaced, he said it was left to the central leadership to take a decision, based on the views of the legislators.
Accusing the Chief Minister of joining hands with his political opponent and Janata Dal (Secular) leader H.D. Deve Gowda, Mr. Yeddyurappa said Mr. Gowda should have resigned on moral grounds as soon as the party lost the Udupi-Chikmagalur Lok Sabha by-election.
He accused Mr. Ananth Kumar of not allowing him to govern peacefully when he was the Chief Minister. He had carried tales against him to BJP veteran L.K. Advani.