Claiming that rebel legislators in the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have been reined in, Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa on Monday hoped that he wouldn't have to face any more dissident activity during the remaining two years of his five-year term in office.
"The rebels have reformed themselves. They have assured me of their support to my government. I do not foresee any problem in running the government smoothly as we are all united now and have majority in the house (legislative assembly)," Yeddyurappa told reporters in Bangalore on the completion of three years in office by the first BJP government in this southern state.
A much-relieved Yeddyurappa, who faced more challenges from within the party than from the opposition Congress and the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) during the last three years, said the 11 party legislators, whose membership was restored by the Supreme Court May 13, had decided to accept his leadership and work for the people in their respective constituencies.
"I have gone through many an agni pariksha (trial by fire) during the last three years and emerged stronger by the grace of god and support of the people, who have voted our party to power for the first time in 2008 and reaffirmed their faith in us in most of the by-elections held since then. We are confident of returning to power after the next assembly elections in 2013," he said at a meet the press programme held to mark the beginning of his fourth year in office.
Terming the symptom of dissidence as a Congress culture that was seeping into other parties, including the ruling BJP, the chief minister said that the strident attacks by the opposition parties on him and his government was not new as they did not spare his predecessors, including Ramakrishna Hegde, Veerendra Patil, SR Bommai, JH Patel and even SM Krishna.
"What can I do? It appears the Congress culture of dissidence is seeping everywhere, even into my party. Some of our legislators (rebels) were misled by the opposition parties and promised the 'moon' for revolting against my government. They were taken to Chennai and Goa to conspire against me and destabilise our government. When they failed, they returned to the party fold. I am sure they will not repeat the same mistake but work for the people," Yeddyurappa reiterated.
Though Yeddyurappa faced the first revolt within his party in October 2009 from the powerful mining magnates, the Reddy brothers - revenue minister G Karunakara Reddy and infrastructure and tourism minister G Janardhana Reddy - he ruled out dropping them from the ministry as "charges of illegal mining and corruption" were not proved.
Blaming the opposition Congress and JD-S for preventing his government from functioning smoothly and carrying on the development works, the chief minister said even after both the parties lost badly in the recent (April 9) three by-elections, they have not learnt a lesson and continued to bring down his government through unconstitutional and undemocratic means.
"I hope my friends in the Congress and the JD-S will learn to respect the mandate of the people and extend cooperation to our government in completing the unfinished task at least in the remaining two years of our government. If they continue to behave the same way, people will not forgive them and will teach a lesson in the next assembly elections," Yeddyurappa asserted.