In a major embarrassment for Karnataka’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), disgruntled former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa (BSY) showered praise on the opposition Congress and its president Sonia Gandhi for supporting leaders in trouble, “unlike” his own party.
“I have to praise Sonia for protecting her party leaders. When she was in Tumkur recently, I noticed that all Congress leaders were united despite their differences. If any of their party members gets into trouble, they help each other,” BSY said at a public function in Bangalore on Sunday. “But in my party, everyone waits to pull the rug under a person who is in trouble.”
BSY also lashed out at chief minister DV Sadananda Gowda for "betraying" him by not vacating the post to pave the way for his return. Gowda became chief minister after a Lokayukta report on illegal mining indicted BSY in July last year. BSY was supposed to have nominated him for the position.
Since being granted bail in most cases, the 70-year-old Lingayat strongman has made repeated attempts to regain chief ministership. But the central leadership has insisted he has to be cleared of the charges levelled against him before he can be reinstated. The Supreme Court had, on Friday ordered a CBI probe against BSY in connection with illegal mining.
Recent developments have stirred speculation that the party could be headed for a split — BSY might float a new party or join another. Considering his mass appeal, the BJP is in a fix. But the party, which has tried to corner the government on graft, may consider some organisational changes to prevent him from splitting it.
Meanwhile, Gowda, who was in New Delhi to attend the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Indian parliament on Sunday, met the BJP’s national leaders. He declined to react to BSY calling him a “betrayer”.