Sunday, Feb 26, 2017 | Last Update : 05:45 PM IST
It’s a tactic that has served him well in the past. In 2013, the former chief minister B.S.
It’s a tactic that has served him well in the past. In 2013, the former chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, set to launch his breakaway Karnataka Janata Party on Sunday, hopes it will prove the winning card once again. The card Betrayal. In 2008, Mr Yeddyurappa blamed former chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy for not adhering to their power sharing agreement and refusing to hand over power to coalition party BJP. He swept to power on a wave of sympathy, becoming the first BJP leader to win a southern state. In 2013, Mr Yeddyurappa will blame “forces within the BJP” for betraying him, and expects a landslide. “I will go to the people and tell them how the BJP betrayed me. The BJP is more evil than the Congress. After the Haveri rally, I will go on a rath yatra covering all the 224 districts and spread the message,” said Mr Yeddyurappa. Buoyed up by the turn-out of people wherever he has travelled these past weeks, Mr Yeddyurappa says, “Some 50,000 people have come out to check for themselves what the KJP stands for. I am confident that these silent voters, the silent majority, will back me.” What of the arithmetic of the Karnataka Janata Party’s support base The Lingayat leader remained cautious: “No, It is too early to say, who will win or who will lose or any particular party’s strength. We do not know who will stand from which party.” He, however, claims the support of 50 to 55 sitting BJP MLAs and 12 MPs. Defending the criticism that the KJP will have no second rung leaders as he dwarfs them all, and be counterproductive in the assembly elections, Mr Yeddyurappa said: “All those MLAs and ministers who will join us are second rung leaders.” Where would his votes come from Will he bank on SCs, STs and OBCs, moving away from the BJP’s base galvanised by the Sangh Parivar and its strong base, Mr Yeddyurappa says, “You can see, BJP party units from various districts have been joining en masse. Who will be left in the BJP’s rank and file So, you can see the groundswell of support that we are getting from all sections of society across the state. I do not want to boast. But I am the only leader in Karnataka, who, if I go to any place, 10,000 people will come without an invitation. That is the kind of support I get. You will see for yourself,”