Bengaluru, June 23: B S Yeddyurappa and his supporters would still consider the decision to step down as the Chief Minister as the biggest mistake he made in his political career. He was pressurized by the party leadership in New Delhi to step down.
Yeddyurappa had said in a media interaction that he ought not to have stepped down at that time. The Lokayukta report, accusing him of corruption was not a final judgment and moreover he enjoyed the support of nearly 75 per cent of the BJP MLAs.
Today Yeddyurappa, the BJP's strong man in Karnataka finds himself at the crossroads of his career. With three FIRs being lodged against him in connection with a land de-notification case by the Karnataka Lokayukta, the taint just does not seem to leave him.
Yeddyurappa does not want a Delhi job:
Whether his critics like it or not, Yeddyurappa is still the biggest crowd puller in the state. He is an emotive speaker and draws a connect with the crowd each time he has addressed a gathering.
Yeddyurappa today holds the post of national vice president of the party. Many consider it as an honorary post and there is really not much he has to do in the state.
Yeddyurappa was never comfortable with national politics and preferred to remain in the state where he has worked for nearly 4 decades.
He had cited in private several times to his well wishers that he wanted no role in Delhi. "I am not fluent with English or Hindi and hence I just do not feel comfortable in Delhi," he had said. He has repeatedly told the party leadership about the same but to no avail.
What next for Yeddyurappa?
Gone are those days when one would get to see Yeddyurappa on television everyday. He is more or less confined to his home, awaiting the fate of the cases that have been filed against him. Yeddyurappa had long asked for the post of party president in Karnataka.
His supporters were hopeful that the leadership of the BJP would consider him for the post in the year 2016 when the term of current president, Prahlad Joshi comes to an end.
However, the plethora of cases that are being filed against Yeddyurappa has left his supporters high and dry. They now feel that is very difficult for Yeddyurappa to be considered for the top post in the party if these cases linger on. Moreover the Modi-Amit Shah combine is constantly looking for younger faces to lead the party.
Does the BJP have a successor in Karnataka?
The BJP may argue that there is still a while away before the party would face the assembly elections. There is still no clarity on who could lead the party single handedly like Yeddyurappa did seven years back.
Yeddyurappa has a lot of positives such as the fact that he is a great crowd and vote puller coupled with the fact that he is from the very powerful Lingayat community. There are a handful of leaders in the BJP in the state who are capable of leading the party.
However, the issue is that leaders such as Jagadish Shettar, R Ashok or Ananth Kumar are not capable of leading the party in the entire state like Yeddyurappa did. These leaders are capable of winning the election for the party in pockets and this is not what the BJP needs when it faces the elections.
On this front, the leader capable of leading the party in the entire state is Yeddyurappa alone. But will the BJP leadership consider this factor? Sources within the party say that Yeddyurappa would continue to play the role of a guide while the party would look for a young and dynamic candidate before it faces the next elections in Karnataka.