Bengaluru, Aug 18: Karnataka BJP's Lingayat strongman B.S. Yeddyurappa has read out the riot act to the RSS on the issue of who would be the chief minister if the party came to power in 2018, sources close to the former chief minister have told OneIndia.
The sources said that Yeddyurappa is angry after the party leadership formed the party core committee but kept his confidants out of it. "He has clearly told the RSS not to needle him any further, especially on the matter of who would be chief minister if the party came to power in 2018," the sources said.
The message to the top RSS leadership is that the BJP must make him the CM candidate, else he would walk out of the party just as he did before the 2013 Assembly elections, the sources added.
Yeddyurappa is particularly miffed and anxious as he suspects that BJP president Amit Shah had heeded to the RSS' man in the BJP, Deputy Joint Secretary (organisation) B.L. Santosh's demand to keep his men out of the core committee.
"If BSY smells any attempt to deny him the chief minister's post, he will quit the BJP and form his own party and dent the BJP's prospects," the sources said.
Yeddyurappa, who had to quit as chief minister in 2011 after corruption charges were made against him, is said to be particularly edgy after the party enforced the "retire at 75" rule on former Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel. Yeddyurappa himself will turn 75 in 2018, just as assembly elections approach in Karnataka.
Worse, Santhosh is rumoured to be angling for the chief minister's post himself. BJP sources said he harbours the hope that just like Narendra Modi himself or Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, he too can go straight from being RSS pracharak to chief minister. But speaking to OneIndia recently, Santhosh strongly denied that he had any such ambition.
While he continues to bargain with the RSS on this issue, Yeddyurappa is said to be readying a Plan B: he is in touch with disgruntled leaders in the state Congress and JD(S), just in case he has to start his own party and would need their support.