Assembly elections likely anytime now, he tells party workers
The threat of political uncertainty looms large in the State with the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa in no mood to wait endlessly for being reinstated as Chief Minister.
Little wonder that Bharatiya Janata Party State president K.S. Eshwarappa on Saturday sounded off on preparations for elections to the Legislative Assembly, which he told party workers could happen anytime soon.
“The party will gear up to face elections — both the Assembly and Lok Sabha. I will ask the party workers to be in a poll-ready mode, like soldiers. I also want to seek the blessings of people of the State for facing the polls,” Mr. Eshwarappa told mediapersons after participating in the bhoomi puja of a convention of party's women workers to be organised at the Bangalore Palace Grounds on March 31.
Mr. Eshwarappa said organising the women workers' convention would be the first formal preparation for polls. This would be followed up with a convention of the Party Dalit Morcha in Mysore on April 7.
The BJP was also planning to hold the conventions of all its frontal organisations. These programmes would culminate with a massive convention of its workers in Bangalore on May 26.
Sources in the BJP are interpreting Mr. Eshwarappa's poll warning as a strong message to the B.S. Yeddyurappa camp that the party may have to seek a fresh mandate if his impatience leads to political instability. According to sources, going for an early election is the last option the party may consider if things go out of control owing to infighting.
Assembly polls are scheduled to be held only in May 2013.
Meanwhile, party sources said that Mr. Yeddyurappa is steadily winning over many central leaders. A large number of them, including national president Nitin Gadkari, are said to be in favour of his reappointment as Chief Minister in the wake of the Karnataka High Court granting him a clean chit on illegal mining cases against him. However, veteran leader L.K. Advani is said to be strongly opposing any plan to reappoint Mr. Yeddyurappa, on moral grounds.
The party's main fear is that its State and central units will face major embarrassment if the Supreme Court-appointed Central Empowered Committee recommends to the apex court to order a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into Mr. Yeddyurappa's alleged role in illegal mining after he is reinstated as Chief Minister.