Former Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa has been chosen as the BJP Karnataka state unit president for a record fourth time. As the news broke out, the BJP activists celebrated the moment by bursting fire crackers across the state. In an exclusive interview, Shri BS Yeddyurappa speaks to Organiser Correspondent R Guruprasad. Excerpts:
- What is your take on Siddaramaiah government rule in Karnataka?
Congress is currently a broken house in Karnataka. There is no trust among its leaders. Each of them is out in open, accusing each other and indulging in mudslinging. As a result, people are fed up with Siddaramaiah government and desperately want a change. This change will coincide with BJP winning back Karnataka.
- How is the politics of Karnataka today?
It is testing time for Karnataka politics as the state is reeling under severe drought. There is water crisis in every nook and corner of the state. More than 1,300 farmers have committed suicide and Congress has failed to act or respond to the people's problems. However, the only silver lining is BJP coming to power as Karnataka goes to polls in less than two years.
- What is the kind of feedback you received from the people?
Even today, many people tell me that the BJP rule in state was regarded as golden era as a number of developmental activities were taken up at that time. Now, they are requesting me to bring back that golden era and I am sure, we will soon have a BJP government in Karnataka. We will tour in all the 224 Assembly constituencies in Karnataka. With renewed vigour, I am sure of winning at least 150 seats in Karnataka.
- Can you spell out your priorities as BJP president?
As BJP president, my first priority is to reach out to the people. I will make it a point to sit in the BJP party office everyday and meet each of my party workers. I shall listen to each one’s pleas and see that I should develop a connection with every resident of Karnataka and stand with the people in their troubled times.
- Has PM Modi given any suggestion?
I want to work on PM Modi's suggestion of having a Congress-free Karnataka. It has boosted my strength to begin my work with renewed spirit. With PM Modi's decisive leadership in the centre, I have vowed to make Karnataka a super power house. I don't have any doubt to bring back Karnataka into BJP's cache during the next elections under PM’s guidance.
- How do you plan to tackle dissidence in BJP?
The timing of my selection as presidentship has not come at a better time as it was announced on Ugadi (lunar calendar new year). It is Bevu (neem) for Congress and Bella (Jaggery) for BJP. There is no scope for dissidence within BJP as people of Karnataka are frustrated with misrule of Siddarmaiah Government. It is my luck that my party has given me the responsibility as state president on an auspicious Ugadi festival day to establish BJP Government in Karnataka.