Bangalore, Nov 1: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) it leads are playing a waiting game with the party’s former strongman in Karnataka, B.S. Yeddyurappa, who has expressed a desire to be a part of the alliance.
The BJP central leadership has shown no inclination to decide soon about whether or not Yeddyurappa will be accepted back into the BJP fold, as sought by some leaders of the state unit of the party.
With no clear indication from the BJP leadership on his return, Yeddyurappa, who at present heads the Karnataka Janata Party (KJP), sought that his outfit be made part of the NDA.
The NDA too seems to be in no hurry to decide on Yeddyurappa’s request – two weeks after he wrote to alliance chairperson L.K. Advani to make the KJP a partner in the alliance, he has got no response.
The former Karnataka chief minister, whose ties with Advani are frosty at best, told reporters here early this week that he was “confident” of “a positive response” from the NDA.
With both the BJP and the NDA taking time to decide on his overtures, Yeddyurappa is now waiting for an invitation from the BJP’s Karnataka unit to attend the Nov 17 rally in Bangalore to be addressed by the party’s prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi.
Yeddyurappa has pinned his hopes of returning to the BJP or being an NDA partner on Modi, whom he admires.
Within minutes of the BJP anointing Modi, Yeddyurappa issued a statement hailing the decision and pledging his party’s support to the Gujarat chief minister.
However, hopes of his supporters in the Karnataka BJP unit that Yeddyurappa’s return to the party will take place before Modi’s Bangalore visit seem to have been dashed; the party seems keener to allow the limelight at the rally to fall solely on its prime ministerial candidate.
Yeddyurappa’s attempt to become an NDA partner, while the central leadership of the BJP is mulling over his possible return to the party fold, has not gone down well with a section of the BJP’s state unit.
Yeddyurappa’s move to gain entry into the NDA is being interpreted in some quarters as a tactic to exert pressure on the BJP to take a swift decision on his return to the party.
Even as Yeddyurappa awaits an invitation to attend Modi’s rally, the BJP’s state unit formally launched preparations for it on Wednesday by opening an online registration facility and performing “puja” at the venue of the rally, the sprawling Palace Grounds in north Bangalore.
At least 500,000 people from Bangalore and other parts of the state are expected to gather for the event, which will also be the first time that Modi is addressing an audience in the Karnataka capital since he was declared the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate.
(V.S. Karnic can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)