Bangalore, Sep 28: The BJP leadership was Friday left squirming with its former Karnataka chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa heaping praise on the Nehru-Gandhi family and slamming his own party chief Nitin Gadkari and senior leader L.K. Advani.
In a clear bid to force the BJP to act against him so that he can try to garner sympathy as a victim, Yeddyurappa said the Congress leadership “from Pandit Nehru to Sonia Gandhi did not go back on their promises to their party leaders”.
“This quality needs to be appreciated,” he told reporters here as Gadkari and other BJP leaders attended the last day of a party meet in Surajkund in Haryana.
“Till Atal Behari Vajpayee’s time, this was the case in BJP also. But not now,” said the former chief minister, whose efforts to become chief minister again or to be made state BJP chief have been rebuffed by Gadkari and other central party leaders.
An immediate fallout of Yeddyurappa’s outburst appeared to be the BJP leadership dropping plans to name a successor to incumbent state unit chief K.S. Eshwarappa, whose term ends this month-end.
BJP sources in Surajkund said the leadership has asked Eshwarappa to continue till December, by when Yeddyurappa has been saying he would decide whether to continue in the BJP or not.
Yeddyurappa, the BJP’s first chief minister in the state who quit July last year over mining bribery charges, slammed Gadkari for making lofty speeches but acting otherwise.
Referring to Gadkari’s speech at the Surajkund meet that “party was above the individual”, the former chief minister said he did not need the BJP to become chief minister again.
He accused Gadkari of “encouraging confusion” in the state unit and questioned his wisdom in creating the posts of two deputy chief ministers in Karnataka when no other BJP-ruled state had such an arrangement.
He also attacked Advani saying the senior BJP leader was acting according to the wishes of the party general secretary and Bangalore South Lok Sabha member H.N. Ananth Kumar.
“Ananth Kumar has been angling for either chief minister’s post or state party presidentship. That is why he is creating problems. My suggestion to Gadkari is to make Ananth Kumar the party chief instead of any of his nominees,” Yeddyurappa said sarcastically.
Yeddyurappa, who boycotted the BJP national executive meet for the first time since his association with the party for over 40 years, accused Gadkari of “listening to leaders with vested interests.”
He reiterated that Gadkari had gone back on his promise to make him party president within 24 hours of leaving the chief minister’s post in July last year. He said Gadkari had also not kept his word to re-instate him as chief minister after six months.
Asked when he would quit BJP, Yeddyurappa said “that time is fast approaching”.