Shivamogga: The media had given wide publicity to a recent statement made by the BJP’s national vice-president and former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa on senior party leader Lal Kishen Advani.
His statement was in response to Advani’s call to the party higher-ups to fix the responsibility in the Bihar poll debacle on individuals concerned and also for an introspection. After Advani’s outburst, many other BJP leaders too took courage to air similar views in the open.
When recently asked about his views on Advani’s call, Yeddyurappa had said in no uncertain terms that Advani might be frustrated over having missed an oppportunity to become the prime minister when Modi wave swept the country. Yeddyurappa may not have realized the implications of his casual statement.
His arch rival in the party in the state, H N Ananth Kumar, who is also a Union minister, has been a staunch Advani loyalist for decades. Kumar, who holds an insignificant portfolio in the Modi cabinet, has his own ambitions for future, according to sources.
He may have briefed Advani on Yeddyurappa’s statement, say BJP veterans. Kumar has his eyes set on the state party president’s post, which is always considered as a springboard to hop into the chief minister’s post.
Party insiders here say that by giving out such a statement in order to please the current bosses at the helm, Yeddyurappa may have harmed himself. This is especially so because he is desperately trying to project himself as the only leader of the masses who is competent to lead the party in the assembly elections due in April-May 2018.
As at present, the state party leadership is all in a shambles without a captain to hold the ship and navigate it. The term of the present state president, Pralhad Joshi, is coming to an end soon.
In a damage control exercise which is characteristic of any present-day politician, Yeddyurappa addressed a media meet here on Friday and said that his words had been ‘wrongly interpreted in the media’. He said that he had not said anything that would bring disrepute to Advani.
While clarifying that he had the same respect for Advani as he had for PM Modi, he also said that an impression had been created in the media that he (Yeddyurappa) had been drafted to speak against Advani.
He termed it absolutely wrong, while adding that he would not speak against the senior leader and the party would work under his (Advani’s) guidance in future also.