Hubli: Going on the defensive, former CM BS Yeddyurappa, without giving any room for speculation about his plans, reiterated that he would not leave the party, but would help build it by touring the state in the future, sans power.
Addressing the gathering at Nehru stadium here as part of his birthday convention organised by his loyalists in Hubli on Sunday, he pledged to work for the upliftment of the people in future, without power.
Lakhs of people took part in the third largest gathering in this commercial heartland, after former PM AB Vajpayee's Sankalp Yatre in 1999 and the AHIND convention in 2006 led by Opposition Leader in the Assembly, Siddaramaiah.
Every speaker showered words of praise on Yeddyurappa, hailing his 70 years of experience — 40 years of struggle, 5 years as chief minister and 24 days of jail term.
While Agriculture Minister Umesh Katti termed Yeddyurappa as a champion of the farming community for catering to their needs, Home Minister R Ashok held the Opposition responsible for the downfall of their leader.
Energy Minister Shobha Karandlaje highlighted Yeddyurapps's achievements as CM and called him a leader of the oppressed. RDPR Minister Jagadish Shettar termed the convention a 'turning point' in state politics and extended full support to Yeddyurappa in his future plans.
An obviously relieved Yeddyurappa said the party high command had promised him the CM's post once he is absolved of all mining charges, but due to some reasons they were 'unable' to do so. Yeddyurappa stressed the need to expose the Congress and JD(S) for hatching a conspiracy against his government, saying, "I know how to play it safe." He said, "Even though I had undergone jail term during the Emergency, the 24 days' imprisonment on mining charges has hurt me a lot." The former CM also said that he had dreamt of presenting the state budget worth Rs 1 lakh crore, which would cater to the needs of every person in the state.
But it was not all fun as the absence of Chief Minister Sadananda Gowda, state party president KS Eshwarappa and party national leaders indicated that all is not well in the party.