The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party has adopted a two-pronged approach to handle the situation arising out of its rebel leader and former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa getting ready to join the Karnataka Janata Paksha on December 10.
According to sources in the BJP, the party is making serious efforts to retain prominent leaders from the Yeddyurappa camp within its fold besides trying to see if Mr. Yeddyurappa himself could be convinced to drop his plans.
More importantly, the party is learnt to have laid out a plan to steer the party in Yeddyurappa’s absence and resist his political influence if he quits. It is learnt that the party is preparing to initiate various political measures to take on Mr. Yeddyurappa, if he becomes its political opponent.
“We would initiate whatever measures we will normally take as a political party to handle our political opponents if he quits the party,” the sources said.
But for now, the party has adopted a strategic stand of being patient with respect to Mr. Yeddyurappa, and desisting from initiating any action against him. “We will not initiate any action against him even if he continues to attack us as the party does not want to create a platform for him to generate sympathy,” the sources said.
At the same time, all the top leaders of the party admit that his exit is bound to affect the party’s prospects. “Practically, it is not possible to create another Yeddyurappa overnight as he has evolved as a political leader over several decades. Hence, the focus now is to reduce the extent of damage that he may cause the party,” a leader said.
What has come as a moral support to the party at this juncture is the support from old-time party workers. “We have been receiving calls from a large number of party workers who want to move forward from this situation,” the sources said.
Meanwhile, Mr. Yeddurappa continued to torment the party leadership by calling upon his supporters in the BJP to publicly identify themselves with his new political outfit, but to continue in the ruling party till the end of tenure of the Jagadish Shettar government.
Reiterating that he would become the State president of Karnataka Janata Paksha on December 10, Mr. Yeddyurappa told reporters here that his supporters would continue to be in the BJP to ensure that the Shettar government completed its full term.
He held meetings with his supporters on his future political plans in Chamarajanagar and Mysore on Thursday.