He dons the role of Opposition leader immediately after quitting BJP

Soon after quitting the Bharatiya Janata Party and from the membership of the Legislative Assembly, the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa declared on Friday that he will now work as an Opposition leader.

In fact, he donned the role of Opposition leader immediately after announcing his resignation by accusing the BJP government of going slow on development works after he had stepped down as Chief Minister.

“The MLAs are anguished that the development works are getting slackened despite the government having sufficient funds. The people are also upset as the pace of works is slowing down due to the lethargic attitude of the officials,” he said. Mr. Yeddyurappa held a convention of his supporters at the Freedom Park here after faxing a three-page resignation letter to party national president Nitin Gadkari. From there, he went to the Vidhana Soudha in a procession and submitted his resignation to his Assembly membership to Speaker K.G. Bopaiah. His resignation was accepted by the Speaker who then issued a notification.

The ministerial supporters of Mr. Yeddyurappa did not attend the convention perhaps as a matter of strategy following a warning issued by the party. However, despite the warning, nine legislators, including five MLAs, accompanied him. They were H. Halappa, D. Suresh, Nehru Olekar, B.P. Harish, Chikkanagouda (all MLAs), Bharati Shetty, M.D. Lakshminarayana, Mumtaz Ali Khan and Shivaraj Sajjan. His close aides Minister Shobha Karandlaje and MLC Lehar Singh called on him later.

Congress leaders Jabbar Khan Honnali and B.R. Patil and Janata Dal (S) leader Vishwanath joined the Karnataka Janata Paksha on the occasion.

‘They backstabbed me’

Later, Mr. Yeddyurappa told a press conference that it was a painful decision for him to sever his 40-year association with the party.

He said that he was quitting the BJP because he had been backstabbed by certain leaders within the party who were trying to project him as guilty in corruption cases. “The party has given me everything. But I too have sacrificed everything to build this party. I dedicated 15-20 days a month to tour the State on behalf of the party ignoring my family,” he said.

He said that his intention of forming a regional party was to protect the interests of the State and put it on the fast-track of development with the help of a regional lobby. He also hinted that he may try to join the third front at the national level and expressed the confidence that his new political outfit will come to power in the next elections.

He indirectly sought to compare himself with the former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and the former Chief Minister D. Devaraj Urs hoping that people would remember him for the welfare measures taken up by him as Chief Minister as they remembered the 20-point programme of Indira Gandhi and the land-to-tiller programme of Devaraj Urs.

Mr. Yeddyurappa left here for Vaishnodevi temple later.

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