Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Last Updated: 21 May 21:03 PM IST
6 December 2012
BANGALORE, 6 DEC: Former chief minister and now a Karnataka Janata Party leader B S Yeddyurappa today exuded confidence about his party forming the next government. Besides, the KJP, he said, will lay emphasis on giving a clean administration to the people of Karnataka in addition to empowering women, providing water to the needy ryots apart from taking steps to prevent migration from the villages to the cities.
He told The Statesman here that the KJP would be concentrating on building a welfare state with strict adherence to the policies and principles enunciated by Mahatma Gandhi, particularly gram swaraj, Babasaheb Ambedkar with special emphasis on the protection of Dalits and ,of course, Jayprakash Narayan.
According to him, the KJP would contest all the 224 seats in the 2013 Assembly elections even as he brushed aside suggestions that a party which was still to find its roots may not be able to do so.” Just wait and see. You will know what I mean when you attend the Haveri rally on 9 December .I will put up new faces and will definitely get majority in the next Assembly elections,” he asserted.
But what if the KJP does not get majority but only 20-30 seats? What if there is a hung Assembly? Would he align with the BJP, if required?
This is enough to rattle him but he recovers quickly,almost angrily stating that come what may, the KJP would never align with the BJP.”It is a greater evil than the Congress or the JDS. In any case, there is no question of a hung assembly because my party will get the majority.Just wait and watch,” is his refrain.
He is also unfazed when queried about his concept of a clean government. Rather, the inherent contradiction . Especially, when a major part of his cabinet, during his term as chief minister, had come under the scanner in connection with one scam or the other. He is , however, quick to retort that majority of the charges related to denotification of lands.
The question, he said, was :-- how come all the allegations came up only during his tenure as CM. Why not earlier. For that matter, he wondered , even in his own case, why he alone was targeted .How is it ,he asked that nobody bothered to raise questions about land denotifications during Mr Deve Gowda or S M Krishna’s time when they were chief ministers? Why did the Lokayukta target him alone on alleged illegal mining , especially as chief minister he had raised his voice against indiscriminate mining and export of iron ore in the National Development Council meeting.
Responding to queries about his contribution to the BJP and the way he was forced to leave the party he had nurtured for 40 years, his bitter retort was that he had helped the party ride to power in Karnataka. For the first time ,BJP got the chance to rule in the south. “And look how I was treated. Not only did the central leadership betray me, it even failed to respond to my suggestions. All I had said in my meeting with its senior representatives was that if I was made the state unit chief ,I would not even contest elections leave alone vie for the chief minister’s post. I can help the party retain power.”
And yet,he said, despite promising to check with the party high command and get back , the emissaries did not even bother to revert.’That is how they treated me.”
Asked about the futility of floating a regional party, he said that was nothing to worry about. ”Yes,I know people have warned me that Devaraj Urs and Bangarappa tried to form their own parties but failed miserably. But that was years ago. The times were different.”
Today, he said, it had become imperative to float a regional party if only to preserve one’s self respect and that of one's state . The Aiadmk and the DMK, for example, have enough clout at the centre despite being regional parties. The KJP will be no different as it will do well in the Lok Sabha elections as well. “Besides, he said as if to remind , the central leadership of the national parties did not like any strongman to emerge from the states. It just could not digest it. The Congress did not like Nijalingappa’s prominence just as the BJP did not like him becoming a strong leader. It was no different in the case of Gopinath Munde in Maharashtra in recent days . Narendra Modi,however, was an exception ,he adds.