Bangalore: Rebel BJP leader and former Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa is all set to resign from the party and his Assembly membership on Friday. A huge procession has been planned outside the State Assembly where the 70-year-old leader will formally end his 40-year old association with the BJP.
He is set to launch his party, the Karnataka Janata Party on December 9. Yeddyurappa's exit is expected to put the BJP at crossroads, but party leaders have put up a brave face saying it will have no impact. Yeddyurappa is credited with bringing BJP to power in Karnataka, making it the first BJP government in the south.
Meanwhile, the entire party unit from former Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa's assembly constituency Shikaripura in Shimoga district has quit to join his new party. They have even taken over the local BJP office.
From being BJP's only MLA 25 years ago to BJP's first chief minister in the South, BS Yeddyurappa has seen it all. The powerful public orator and political organiser almost single-handedly built the saffron party in Karnataka over 30 years. This is not a small achievement in a state that was completely opposed to right wing politics till the mid 1990s.
Yeddyurappa got his first taste of power in 2006 to occupy coveted seats on the treasury benches, first as Deputy Chief Minister in a JDS-BJP coalition government and 20 months later, as Chief Minister for just seven days before he was toppled by the Gowdas.
Riding on a sympathy wave, Yeddyurappa led BJP to a spectacular victory in the 2008 assembly polls. Things started deteriorating though, a year after he took charge. Scams in all sectors, from mining to land grants, became a regular feature. Never-ending internal rebellions further spoiled his party.
Yeddyurappa finally quit as chief minister in July 2011. And after nearly 40 years in the right-wing party, he's now on his own with a plan to fight the coming assembly polls under the new Karnataka Janata Party (KJP). The big question is whether he will win enough seats to remain relevant in the state politics.