Former Karnataka Chief Minister and erstwhile BJP strongman B.S. Yeddyurappa will take over as the president of the Karnataka Janata Paksha (KJP) on December 10. The KJP was registered as a political party with the Election Commission in April 2011.
On December 9 Mr. Yedyurappa will officially give up the primary membership of the BJP and quit the Karnataka Legislative Assembly before attending a convention of his supporters in Haveri on December 10 for his formal entry into the regional outfit.
No back channel talks
Former Union Minister and Mr. Yeddyurappa’s spokesman Mr. V. Dhananjay Kumar told The Hindu on Tuesday that there was no going back on Mr. Yedyurappa’s decision to contest the 2013 State Assembly election under his the KJP’s banner. He dismissed reports carried by a section of the media that said that BJP president Nitin Gadkari was having back channel talks with Mr. Yeddyurappa . “I can confidently say that they are false and no one has contacted him so far.”
Mr. Kumar, who was expelled by the BJP recently for “anti-party activities”, is likely to be elected president of the KJP at the October 31 meeting of present office-bearers to be held in Bangalore. Mr. Prasanna Kumar, who formed the KJP last year, is also likely to get a prominent post in the organisation after Mr. Yeddyurappa takes over.
Fate of supporters
Asked what would happen to the former Chief Minister’s supporters in the Legislative Assembly, the Legislative Council, the Lok Sabha and various civic bodies, Mr. Kumar said: “They will continue to be BJP members till the next election inside the respective Houses. Outside they will be the functionaries of KJP and actively participate in the party programmes. If the BJP wants, let it expel them from the party. We are not bothered.”
The new party was not a party of Lingayats, the community which Mr. Yeddyurappa belongs to, said Mr. Kumar, adding that it would rather have a social ideology.
Congress sees a “smooth sail” ahead
Meanwhile, Corporate Affairs Minister and former Karnataka Chief Minister M. Veerappa Moily told The Hindu that the Congress was all set to recapture power in Karnataka in the next election and the BJP State unit’s vertical split, which was imminent, would only further help the Congress smooth sail of the Congress. People were annoyed with the BJP’s misrule and were waiting for a chance to change, he said.
Asked about reports that he was being projected as the Chief Minister candidate if the party captured power in Karnataka, Mr. Moily said: “I am not enthusiastic [for CM].”