At age 69, BS Yeddyurappa remains the BJP's enfant terrible. Determined to be reinstated as chief minister of Karnataka despite a series of corruption cases, Mr Yeddyurappa is once again giving his party a sneak peek at a revolt in the making.
This time, it's the election for President of India that has given Mr Yeddyurappa a chance to take on the BJP. Sources say that Pranab Mukherjee, who is the candidate for the ruling UPA, phoned Mr Yeddyurappa this morning to solicit his support. The BJP has yet to decide whether to oppose Mr Mukherjee with a candidate of its own. Leaders like LK Advani are in favour of a contest, but allies like Nitish Kumar and the Shiv Sena are not.
Mr Yeddyurappa refused to confirm to NDTV whether he has spoken to Mr Mukherjee, a man he described as "a suitable candidate". On record, he said he will not go against the BJP's official line, once the party takes a stand. Sources close to him, however, say that he has warned the BJP's central leadership that he may ask his many supporters in Karnataka to back Mr Mukherjee. The Presidential election places equal value on the votes of MPs and state legislators. Mr Yeddyurappa claims to have the support of 75 of the BJP's 120 MLAs in the Karnataka Assembly.
Mr Yeddyurappa is also demanding an urgent meeting of the party's legislators in Karnataka. The agenda for him would be to push for the exit of the chief minister Sadanadanda Gowda, the man he chose as his successor when he was forced to quit office on charges of corruption.