New Delhi/Bangalore: BS Yeddyurappa may have enrolled in an Art of Living course in Bangalore this week instead of coming to BJP's national convention in Surajkund, but inner calm apparently remains evasive for the politician.
Angry at not being made party president in Karnataka - which goes to the polls early next year - he has again put on his rebel face. Speaking to NDTV, he chose his words carefully, from praise for the Congress to renewing his threat to form a new party just ahead of the state elections.
Clearly taking a straight shot at the BJP top brass, he told NDTV that unlike his party, the Congress never "made any one the scapegoat". The BJP, he said, "has let down many state leaders". He also said that there was no guidance from the central leadership "after Vajpayee", referring to the former Prime Minister and party leader.
Mr Yeddyurappa again revived his threat to break away from the BJP and form his own party. "The decision will be taken in December; I want to take the opinion of party workers and well-wishers first." The announcement of the timing of a possible break from the BJP is significant since Karnataka assembly elections are scheduled in early 2013.
Mr Yeddyurappa's anger has been simmering from the time he was forced out of the Chief Minister's position by the party after he indicted in July 2011 in a mining scam. A sulking Mr Yeddyurappa tried to take the moral high ground in his interview to NDTV, saying he now didn't want to be the Chief Minister or even the state party president - something he claims he was promised by the BJP chief - saying "it is too late". He didn't elaborate whether it was too late for the party to offer or for him to accept. His anger peaked recently when two of his loyalists in the state cabinet were sacked.
Earlier today in Bangalore, he said he will explain to BJP leaders why he skipped an important meeting held over three days on the outskirts of Delhi. "In the last 40 years, this is the first time that I did not attend the national executive meeting," he said, adding that he will elaborate on his absence in a letter to party president Nitin Gadkari.
Then he shared his reasons anyway. "Gadkari had told me that he would appoint me state party president in 24 hours... at the time of the appointment of Sadananda Gowda as Chief Minister... but it did not happen."
After Mr Yeddyurappa was forced out of the Chief Minister's seat, his pink slip came with the right to select his successor. He picked Sadananda Gowda, a non-controversial partyman, who was best known for never challenging Mr Yeddyurappa and for his broad smile. His good humour was tested severely by Mr Yeddyurappa, who decided in July this year that he would prefer to pick another candidate for the Chief Minister's office. His party capitulated and Jagadish Shettar, who belongs to the same Lingayat community as Mr Yeddyurappa, was made head of the government.
But he isn't content to just be the king-maker. The 69-year-old has repeatedly pushed to be given a major party position, or else. The possible consequences have been shared by him openly - he has warned he will split the BJP in Karnataka, folding its first government in the South; he has also said he could join the Congress instead, whose president Sonia Gandhi he praises often.
Story first published:
September 28, 2012 20:36 IST