Bengaluru, Apr 8, 2016, (PTI): Newly-appointed BJP Karnataka chief B S Yeddyurappa today asserted that his main task would be to uproot the “corrupt” Congress regime from the state.
The former state chief minister, who was till now discharging his duty as BJP Vice-President, became a frontrunner to assume the charge as the state party president, after the Supreme Court declined to intervene and lift a Karnataka High Court stay on his prosecution in a case under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The Lingayat leader will assume charge from Prahlad Joshi, whose term ended in October but was extended till today because of zilla panchayat elections.
Joshi is a close aide of Union Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister Ananth Kumar, considered Yeddyurappa’s bete noire.
Speaking to reporters in Delhi, Yedyurappa said his main task as state party president would be to uproot the “corrupt” Congress regime from Karnataka.
“My task as the chief will be to throw out the corrupt Congress rule in Karnataka,” he said after thanking National BJP President Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for giving him the responsibility.
“I will discharge my duty as the state party president with honesty and sincerity. I thank Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and several other leaders to have bestowed faith in my leadership, and I would like to take all the leaders alongside in the state,” he said.
Yedyurappa said in his political career he has tasted many sweet and sour moments, but assuming charge as the party chief in the state is one the sweet moments.
In January, the Karnataka High Court had quashed 15 FIRs filed against the senior BJP leader for alleged illegal denotification of lands based on a CAG report.
The order came as yet another breather for Yeddyurappa, close on the heels of the High Court quashing former Governor H R Bhardwaj’s sanction for prosecuting him when he was the chief minister and also the Lokayukta court striking down four FIRs against him for alleged illegal land denotification.
Yeddyurappa was not allowed to lead the party in the run up to the 2013 state Assembly elections due to pending corruption charges, which saw him landing in jail in 2011.
Frustrated and disappointed at not getting the responsibility of leading the party ahead of elections, Yeddyurappa formed his own party – the Karnataka Janata Paksha.
His political fortunes changed after the NDA was voted to power in 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
He returned to the party and campaigned extensively to ensure a victory in Lok Sabha elections, where the party won 17 out of the state’s 28 constituencies.
Because of the pending corruption charges, he was kept out of the Union ministry. The party pacified him by giving him party vice-president’s post.
Yeddyurappa was accused of illegally denotifying land in favour of his relatives.
Asked about pending corruption cases against him, Yeddyurappa said, he was confident of getting his name cleared from them as well.
“I have total faith in judicial system. I have come out clean in almost all court cases, except one or two. I am confident and have faith in the judiciary that I will get justice,” he claimed.
Meanwhile, several state party leaders expressed happiness over Yedyurappa’s appointment as the state unit chief.
Calling Yeddyurappa a “friend”, Ananth Kumar claimed utilising his experience, BJP will once again come to power in Karnataka in 2018.
“Yeddyurappa is a mass leader; he is also farmers’ leader, so his appointment will create a new atmosphere and confidence among party workers. This also shows BJP has taken upcoming elections seriously. I congratulate Yeddyrappa.”
Joshi said Yeddyurappa’s appointment “is an appropriate decision and is on expected lines. We will all work together under his leadership to end Congress’ misrule and bring BJP back to power.”
Expressing joy over Yeddyurappa’s appointment his confidante and MP Shobha Karandlaje said he will emerge as a force in organising the party and fight the “Siddaramaiah government’s misrule.”
“He has the strength to fight the elections that is just two-and-half years away, he is a fighter. I believe that BJP will come back to power under his leadership,” she said.