Close on the heels of the warning by the Bharatiya Janata Party of severe action if any of its Ministers attend his proposed Haveri rally on December 9, the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa is said to have told his ministerial supporters not to attend the rally, to avoid complicating matters further.
The Haveri rally marks Mr. Yeddyurappa’s formal joining of the Karnataka Janata Paksha. Mr. Yeddyurappa had earlier said that it was left to his supporters whether to attend the rally or not.
However, now he has taken a U-turn. Sources close to Mr. Yeddyurappa said such a decision was taken in tune with ground realities, as the BJP may groom political opponents of his ministerial supporters by inducting them into the Ministry in the place of those who attend the meet. He does not want the BJP MPs to face the music by attending his meet.
However, he is yet to decide on whether to ask party MLAs to attend the rally. He is likely to hold a meeting of his supporters soon to take a decision in this regard. He does not want to destabilise the Jagadish Shettar government as that would result in him getting the blame for toppling a government headed by a Lingayat leader from north Karnataka.
According to his camp, he wants the party legislators to officially join the KJP only after the declaration of the Assembly polls. His camp claims that about 50 BJP MLAs, including eight to 10 Ministers, may join the new outfit.
Mr. Yeddyurappa is focussing on 150 Assembly constituencies. He is expected to take up a tour of these Assembly constituencies, along with probable candidates, after he officially takes over the KJP leadership on December 9.
According to his camp, he is trying to woo some of the disgruntled Congress leaders into the KJP fold.
His camp also hopes that the KJP would turn out to be a political resort for disappointed ministerial aspirants in different parties.
His ‘hit list’
According to sources, Mr. Yeddyurappa has a “hit list” in which appear BJP State president K.S. Eshwarappa, State general secretary C.T. Ravi and national general secretary Ananth Kumar, among others. He is not averse to supporting other parties, especially the Congress, to ensure their defeat.