Former Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa, who has spoken of leaving the BJP, put up another show of strength on Tuesday while keeping an eye on the troubles of party chief Nitin Gadkari.
The leader from the politically significant Lingayat community — popularly known as BSY — paraded 45 of the BJP’s 118 MLAs in the 225-member assembly, nine MPs and 11 members of the legislative council after meeting them at his posh Dollars Colony house.
He stuck to his stated position that he would float a new party, but not topple the BJP government, led by chief minister Jagadish Shettar.
But a BJP leader close to BSY said the former CM was watching the troubles dogging Gadkari to finalise his exit plans. “BSY might stay put in the BJP if Gadkari does not get a second term as party president,” said the leader who did not want to be named.
BSY failed to get back to power after being forced to quit as CM in July last year following his indictment by the lokayukta on charges of corruption in a mining scam. For now, BSY has decided to name his party the Karnataka Janata Party and launch it in Haveri district in central Karnataka on December 10. “All my followers, ministers and MLAs will join me in building the KJP,” he told the media.
Water resources minister Basawaraj Bommai said, “We will leave the BJP whenever BSY wants us to.” BSY is credited with leading the BJP to power on its own (just three seats short of a majority) for the first time in a south Indian state in 2008.