The ruling BJP in Karnataka is divided over the former chief minister B.S. Yediyurappa’s plan for state-wide tour to strengthen the party. Yediyurappa had announced the tour plan while submitting his resignation. Now, he is all set to take up the tour after Ganesh Chaturthi and the leaders in the party think that the tour by the veteran leader will create unnecessary confusion.
Sources in the BJP say that at a time when Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai’s government is taking off to a good start, the tour by Yediyurappa will send out a different kind of message. The high command after failing to convince Yediyurappa with the governor’s post, has given the responsibility to Bommai to broker peace in this regard and convince Yediyurappa to take up a state-wide tour in accordance with the party’s plan.
The family of Yediyurappa has gifted him Rs 1.3 crore worth Toyota Vellfire for touring the state. The fully automatic luxury vehicle was chosen to make the 78-year-old travel more comfortably. The vehicle also has an outlet on the top to help him wave at the crowd, without meeting the people.
Sensing the discontent within the party, Yediyurappa stated that there is no question of taking up the tour all by himself. “We will all go together for a state tour after Ganesh Chaturthi. Collective decision will be taken in this regard,” Yediyurappa stated to assuage detractors.
Yediyurappa reached his hometown Shivamogga on Friday for a four day visit. The people gave him a warm welcome. He said he is there for anyone in the party and his doors are open for all party men.
The detractors however want him to discuss travel plans and issues he is going to raise during the tour. They fear that Yediyurappa might use the opportunity to launch his son, BJP Vice President B.Y. Vijayendra. They also think that the tour will enhance the charisma of Yediyurappa and make the party more dependent on him in the next assembly elections.
Yediyurappa supporters say that he wouldn’t care for anyone and won’t wait for any orders. If at all the party wants to control him by putting roadblocks to his state wide tour plan, the party will be the loser. The detractors want Yediyurappa’s name for everything and they don’t like to give him any credit.