Clamping down on Karnataka’s former chief minister B.S. Yediyurappa, who was all set to embark on a state tour, the BJP has decided to send former chief ministers Jagadish Shettar, D.V. Sadananada Gowda and Karnataka party President Nalin Kumar Kateel along with him, said party sources.
Yediyurappa had announced that after Vinayak Chaturthi he would go on a statewide tour to strengthen the party. The unilateral decision by Yediyurappa did not go down well with the party as they feared it will become a one-man show rather than strengthening the party. Though Aun Singh, the state-in-charge of the BJP stated that Yediyurappa is a senior leader and does not require permission to go on tours, sources said that the party has different plans for Yediyurappa.
The party also feared that Yediyurappa may utilise this tour to gather support for his son B.Y. Vijayendra. The central leadership opined that this will affect the smooth functioning of Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai.
Sources in the Bharatiya Janata Party confirmed that a decision will be taken in this regard in the core committee and executive committee meetings of the party in Davanagere scheduled to be held on September 18 and 19.
Yediyurappa appeared to have mellowed down after Union Home Minister Amit Shah announced that the party will get a majority under the leadership of Bommai in the next assembly elections in a clear signal to Yediyurappa that he will have no role in the selection of the Chief Ministerial candidate in the future.
Yediyurappa stated that he will follow the instructions of the party with regard to the state tour. He also stated that the party will take a call on his son B.Y. Vijayendra’s prospects of contesting elections or induction into the cabinet.
The party will now utilise the services of Jagadish Shettar, who stated that he would not become a minister in the Bommai cabinet as the CM was junior to him and it will hurt his self-respect, and Sadananda Gowda, dropped from the union cabinet, to strengthen the party.
Sources explained that the tour by the leaders will strengthen the party instead of turning out to be a one-man show as the party was not interested in strengthening Yediyurappa.
BJP MP G.M. Siddeshwar confirmed that the statewide tour will be undertaken by four teams under the leadership of Yediyurappa. “Yediyurappa is the unquestionable leader in the party. No one can question his leadership abilities, he will strengthen the party by touring along with other leaders in the state,” he said.