news Friday, June 05, 2015 - 05:30

It is almost five years since B S Yeddyurappa was forced to resign from his post as the Chief Minister of the first BJP-ruled state in south India. In some ways, his career has come full circle. Having built the party in Karnataka and given the BJP its first stand-alone government in south India, Yeddyurappa’s term as chief minister saw a string of controversies that forced him out of the power, only to bounce back as the national vice-president of BJP, who now wants to repeat the same feat. In an interview to The News Minute, Yeddyurappa speaks of his comeback and interest in state politics, the Siddaramaiah government and minority appeasement. On whether it was possible for a political leader with allegations of wrong-doing against him to make a comeback in the eyes of the public, Yeddyurappa said that if one was honest and had faith in the judiciary, there is no need to care. He cited his large margin victory in the Lok Sabha elections as an example that people had forgotten the past and accepted him whole-heatedly. He claimed he had not sanctioned to “even a single mining project”, be it legal or illegal. Asked if he was taken out of the state because of the allegations against him, Yeddyurappa said he contested Lok Sabha elections at the behest of national leaders, but his interest lay in Karnataka. “Even though I’m an MP and vice President of the BJP, my 100 percent attention is with state politics. I would like to bring the BJP back to power in Karnataka,” he said. Ahead of the next assembly elections, Yeddyurappa says he plans to strengthen the party at the ground level by regularly interacting with important local leaders in the coming months and strategize accordingly. He also wants to capitalize on the “failures” of the incumbent government. On the Congress government recently withdrawing cases against some of the cadres of Popular Front of India (PFI) and Karnataka Forum for Dignity (KFD), Yeddyurappa said, it was a bid by the Congress government “to appease one community”, and people were “not happy with the decision”. Vowing to “stand as true and effective Opposition party” in the coming days, Yeddyurappa feels that the state BJP has been lenient with the Congress government and it must now up its ante. “We decided to give the Congress government time but now two years are over. We will not tolerate anything, any issue or scandal we will involve public and workers,” he said, adding that the party would now launch campaigns against the “failures” of the government. Commenting on the alleged involvement of the chief minister in illegal de-notification of land in Arkavathi Layout, Yeddyurappa said, “We tried to convince the chief minister that he made a mistake and he shouldn’t let it go out of hand, that it is an unforgivable mistake (akshamya aparadha). But he didn’t value our words. People are disappointed with the Siddaramaiah government and would like to see BJP come back to power,” he said. Yeddyurappa compared the incumbent government to the reign of Tughlaq, who was reputed to be a brilliant genius far ahead of his times but causing utter chaos in the kingdom. “Idu Tughlaq Durbar, helakke kelokke yaaroilla aadalithadalli… adikke tudi mutsakke hage horatavannu thogubekagithhu. (This government is like Tughlaq darbar, no one in the administration is bothered about anything. We BJP must launch a movement to put an end to it).” He also said that although there were “effective and capable ministers”, they were not involving themselves in governance because they were fed up. On the role of the Opposition parties in the DK Ravi case, Yeddyurappa denied that they had gone overboard or attempted to obtain political mileage out of the case. “The way government initially handled DK Ravi case investigation; it caused everyone to be suspicious. That’s why we were forced us to come to the road and protest. There is no politics in it,” he said. The call for a separate state in north-Karnataka has been regularly doing rounds with both BJP and Congress leaders making the demand. However, Yeddyurappa refused to encourage such demands from his party MLAs. “We will not let anyone speak of dividing the state it is unforgivable sin. It is true that the north Karnataka region and Hyderabad Karnataka has been completely neglected. We will not support any BJP MLA who wishes to split the state. Karnataka has to remain unified.”  

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