First he wanted to cling on to the crown, then settled for the lesser role of a kingmaker, but finally, BS Yeddyurappa, 70, the man who single-handedly took the lotus south, returned home Thursday empty-handed — no preconditions and no strings attached to his return to the BJP.
It is not a sweet home coming for the prodigal who walked out of the party in 2012 alleging betrayal and ill-treatment and, in turn, inflicted a big damage to his parent party in subsequent state assembly elections.
“Let us forget the past....let us remove the mutual suspicion and work together as the children of a mother,” said BSY at a function to mark his return.
Though he was keen to return after Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi’s elevation as the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate and Modi too favoured it, the party feared a backlash due to corruption charges against him.
BSY bargained quite hard for some of his close followers like Shobha Karandlaje and Dhananjay Kumar to be given key positions, but the party remained unmoved.
For the party desperately trying to mop up numbers in the forthcoming 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the ‘khas’ man’s return is likely to consolidate the Lingayat vote in its favour. But, at the same time, it has to parry criticism from anti-corruption crusaders, like Santosh Hegde the former SC judge and Karnataka Lokayuka. So the BJP is unlikely to place BSY in a key position, at least for now.
There are reports that he may be fielded from Shimoga LS seat, presently held by his son BY Raghavendra.
Karnataka is the only southern state where the BJP is expecting a decent number. “Now we will win maximum seats in the state,” said state president Prahlad Joshi on Thursday.