Rubbishing speculations that he might float his own outfit following reported differences with the BJP top brass, former Karnataka chief minister B S Yeddyurappa on Wednesday said he would work for strengthening the party as a loyal worker.
“Why should I float a new party ? Over the years I have built the party (BJP) in the State. We had just two MLAs in the assembly. Now it is the number one party in the State,” Mr. Yeddyurappa told reporters here.
Mr. Yeddyurappa, who was released from prison on bail in a graft case on Tuesday, also dismissed reports that he wanted to be made the party state unit chief.
Reports in recent weeks suggested that Mr. Yeddyurappa might float his own party as he was unhappy with the party central leadership over his treatment in the aftermath of his indictment by the Lokayukta report on illegal mining and subsequent developments that undermined his role.
The absence of Mr. Yeddyurappa’s supporters in senior leader L K Advani’s rally in Bangalore recently as part of his Jan Chetna Yatra brought to fore intra-party differences fuelling further speculation about the former chief minister’s next move.
“I am not an aspirant for any post including that of the state unit President. As a loyal worker of BJP, I will tour the State and strengthen the party”, Mr. Yeddyurappa said.
He blamed some forces including opposition for the corruption cases filed against him.
“Some who are intolerant about my government’s achievements and the welfare schemes I initiated, hatched a conspiracy against me and I had to go to jail,” Mr. Yeddyurappa, arrested in case relating to alleged irregularities in denotification of government lands, said.
“I won’t brand those who filed cases against me as my opponents. They are all my well wishers. Let them approach Supreme Court. I am confident of proving my innocence”, Mr. Yeddyurappa said in a voice choked with emotion.
A day after his release from the jail, hundreds of BJP workers, ministers and legislators of his party thronged his residence to reaffirm their support to him.
Mr. Yeddyurappa said he would soon call on BJP President Nitin Gadkari and senior leader L K Advani.
Excise Minister M P Renukacharya, a hardcore supporter of Mr. Yeddyurappa, insisted that the former chief minister should be made the state party President.
Mr. Yeddyurappa’s contribution in installing BJP’s first ever government in the south was immense and the next election should be fought under his leadership to retain power, he told reporters.The Hindu