New Delhi: B S Yeddyurappa, former chief minister of Karnataka, sitting Lok Sabha member from Shivamogga constituency and party’s national vice-president, has been appointed to head the party in the state.
This announcement was made by another vice-president Arun Singh at a media meet held in the national capital on Friday.
Yeddyurappa reportedly had this long ambition ever since he merged his breakaway splinter party, Karnataka Janata Paksha (KJP), with the BJP soon after the last assembly elections.
The BJP had realized his clout and damage potential when he hurt the party’s prospects so badly in terms of splitting the votes and winning a chunk of seats under the KJP banner.
But soon the two groups patched up and managed to secure the opposition party’s position in the number game. In the bargain, Janata Dal (S) lost the position it had.
Ever since, Yeddyurappa outside is being regarded as more dangerous than Yeddyurappa inside the party.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a senior party functionary from here said that for the BJP it was a matter of political expediency and an unavoidable necessity.
Right from the beginning, Yeddyurappa has had no long-time well-wishers. MP Ananth Kumar has his own ambitions since the party president’s post is regarded as a readymade and natural ladder to the chief minister’s post, should the party come to power.
The functionary said that there was no immediate successor in sight for the sitting president MP Pralhad Joshi, whose tenure has come to an end and who has expressed his unwillingness to continue for another term.
Former CM D V Sadananda Gowda is in the Union cabinet holding a responsible post, although he is not averse to the idea of coming back to state politics. Gowda, when Yeddyurappa was out of the BJP, had called it a riddance and had even said that the party of cleared of the ‘dirt’.
But the same gentleman, a few months ago, declared Yeddyurappa to be the fittest person to lead the party in the state. Such is the political necessity and change of fortunes, the functionary said.
At the bottom of it all is the caste card. Yeddyurappa, raising the banner of KJP, fared reasonably well since the Lingayat vote-bank is crucial for the BJP. No other leader of the community can stand up to the stature of Yeddyurappa, he added.
At the same time, many top leaders and workers are worried that with Yeddyurappa’s return to the party’s helm, it might come under the control of a close female confidante of his, who is a sitting Lok Sabha member.
In fact, many Yeddyurappa-baiters in the party appear to be more apprehensive about her rise than his.