‘It only shows the low level to which political leadership has fallen’
Crediting the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa with the ascent of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Karnataka and in South India, Kannada Chaluvali Vatal Paksha leader Vatal Nagaraj has criticised BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi for not recalling Mr. Yeddyurappa’s contribution to the State during his public rally here on Sunday.
Speaking to presspersons on Monday, Mr. Nagaraj said: “Mr. Modi should have mentioned Mr. Yeddyurappa at least as a matter of courtesy in his speech, especially as he has been an avowed supporter of Mr. Modi from the start.”
He added that none of the State and national leaders on stage had the courtesy to remember Mr. Yeddyurappa, which was an indication of the “low level” to which the political leadership had fallen, unlike in the past when statesmen could rise above such “pettiness”.
Asked if he had turned a supporter of Mr. Yeddyurappa, who now heads the Karnataka Janata Paksha, Mr. Nagaraj clarified that he was speaking as a senior politician and not out of any “love or hatred” for anyone.
On the ongoing dharna by Mr. Yeddyurappa demanding extension of the Shaadi Bhagya scheme meant for poor Muslim brides to all communities, Mr. Nagaraj said that both the government and Mr. Yeddyurappa should “shed stubbornness”.
He said that he would meet Mr. Yeddyurappa and convince him to stop the agitation as the government has expressed its willingness to extend the scheme to all. “I will urge him to continue the fight inside the Assembly when the Legislature session starts in Belgaum later this month,” he said.