Sidelined former Chief Minister blames Ananth Kumar for crisis in Karnataka party, calls for introspection
The estranged former Karnataka Chief Minister, B.S. Yeddyurappa, on Saturday said he would not participate in the two-day BJP national executive committee meeting to be held in Mumbai from May 24.
Irked at the party's top brass sidelining him, Mr. Yeddyurappa said, “There is political indecisiveness in the State BJP. I have decided not to take part in the executive meeting. There is need for introspection.”
Earlier this week, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi also indicated that he would skip the meeting.
Speaking to journalists at his newly opened public contact office here, Mr. Yeddyurappa said he was hurt by the treatment meted out to him by the party, which he had built over the last 40 years. “But one should not consider my absence from the executive meet a mark of protest.”
Mr. Yeddyurappa, who is facing a CBI probe into allegations of corruption vis-à-vis the mining scam in the State, set at rest speculation on his political moves, saying, “I am not going to join the Congress. There is no question of my joining any political party.”
The Lingayat leader clarified that he was not asking for any position — either as Chief Minister or president of the State BJP.
Mr. Yeddyurappa said the BJP secretary in charge of Karnataka, Dharmendra Pradhan, who has been here since Friday to resolve the crisis, had met him. But “I have no hopes of any improvement in the situation within the party here.”
He blamed senior leader and MP Ananth Kumar for the crisis. “It is very tragic that Mr. Ananth Kumar is not only misguiding the party but also trying to dominate decision-making. The BJP has leaders such as Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley, who have good leadership qualities, but Mr. Kumar is suppressing them,” he said. “After the former Prime Minister A. B Vajpayee, Mr. L.K. Advani is leading the party. He is capable of taking decisions for the good of the party. However, Mr Kumar is not allowing him to take decisions and resolve the crisis.”
Praising Mr. Modi, Mr. Yeddyurappa described him as a “straightforward man and dynamic Chief Minister.” But, he said, Mr. Modi had been let down by party leaders. “Our own party has not given Mr. Modi the prominence due to him.”
Mr. Yeddyurappa said there were problems in Rajasthan, Gujarat and Karnataka and wanted the party to introspect on and resolve them.
Some important leaders in Karnataka and Gujarat had expressed displeasure and wanted the national executive to deliberate on the serious issue, he said.