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Our focus in 2018? Scams of CM, BBMP: BS Yeddyurappa

With exactly a year left for the  assembly polls in Karnataka, the BJP under the leadership of its state president and former Chief Minister B.S.Yeddyurappa is on a crusade to strengthen the party so that it can win 150 plus seats. He is also trying everything possible to attract leaders from the Congress besides generating confidence among  party leaders to win the people’s hearts to win the polls.

Mr Yeddyurappa, who was in Shikaripur on March 4 to hold meetings with party workers and well-wishers, shared his views with Deccan Chronicle on the present political scenario. Excerpts.

You and Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah are making charges and counter charges. You say Mr Siddaramaiah is the most corrupt CM in the country and he says you are the most corrupt in the universe. You had to go to jail and you are still facing cases. Since there are no cases against Mr Siddaramaiah, how can you call him corrupt?
The exposure of financial deals regarding donations to the Congress party which find mention in the ‘secret diary’ allegedly recovered from the residence of Congress MLC Govindraju substantiates my allegation against  Siddaramaiah. Without the CM being aware, such a huge financial deal could not have taken taken place. The recent cancellation of the controversial steel bridge project by the state government proves my allegations against Siddaramaiah.

You claim Siddaramaiah is corrupt. Till now, you have not produced a single piece of evidence which stands the scrutiny of law?
The diary seized from the residence of Govindraju is itself  strong evidence to prove the corruption allegations against the CM. The Steel Bridge project has been mentioned in the diary.

What’s your game plan? You level corruption charges against the CM and other ministers. But the charges may not reach a logical end because the allegations are weak.
No. Our allegation regarding the corruption charges against the Chief Minister and other ministers are not at all weak. So, our next game plan is to take the issue to a logical end and for this we are demanding the intervention of the CBI which is a national investigating agency to probe the alleged diary episode on Congress party donations. The cancellation of the Steel Bridge project is a big setback to the Congress government. The BJP has also planned  protests and rallies throughout the state from March 10 against the state government demanding the resignation of the Chief Minister. 

Mr Siddaramaiah said he would set up a special court if he comes to power to try cases involving BJP leaders. Nothing happened. What will the common man get if you leaders fight over allegations?
When there is no proof on the allegations against BJP leaders then how can Siddaramaiah try them by setting up a special court? Besides, the Chief Minister is being criticised by his own party seniors regarding maladministration and corruption in the implementations of development projects. The common man is fed up with the attitude of Congress ministers and MLAs who do not hear people’s problems. The state is reeling under an acute drought but Congress leaders are busy enjoying their positions instead of taking up relief measures.

What are the other scams you want to expose in the near future?
The BJP is trying to unearth more scams in coming days. The next salvo against the Congress party would be the exposure of corruptions and irregularities in the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP). There are lots of complaints regarding the middlemen menace and misuse of tax money. Till now, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah used to look after the financial matters of BBMP, now the same job has been entrusted to the Bengaluru Incharge Minister K.J. George which raises a lot of questions over the financial management in BBMP.

You say the Congress has totally failed. The same was the case with BJP in 2013. You may reel out statistics to prove you did many things for the state when you were in power. Mr Siddaramaiah too can give data to substantiate what he has done in the last four years. But the quality of life of the common man has not improved. So, no matter who rules, people continue to suffer. Under these circumstances, why should people bring BJP back to power?
It’s not only me,  the people of the state, that too in  old Mysore region from where the Chief Minister hails, are  blaming the Congress government. They have compared the current government and the  track record of the BJP from 2008-2013 and have appreciated the effective implementation of our policies and programmes The BJP lost power in 2013 not due to failure of the administration but due to our internal fights. We will project the development achieved when we were in power and  the good governance of the Central government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi which will definitely  attract people towards  BJP.

But, the JD (S) is going stronger from day by day. They may pose a threat to your dream.
Who told you that JD(S) is growing stronger day by day? The claims made by its leaders are baseless and it’s losing its grip day by day. People will come to know who is stronger and capable of ruling the state in the coming days. 

How will Congress and JD(S) leaders joining BJP benefit you?
It will definitely help the BJP in making inroads into areas which had proved difficult for the party. For instance, the entry of former minister and Dalit leader V. Srinivasprasad into BJP has benefited in with his vast political experience helping us reach the grassroots for development of all sections of society. Whoever is willing to join us, will be a plus point. They can work  with traditional BJP leaders to create a strong base for the party’s success.

Once your party comes to power, you end up fighting for power because you have a problem of plenty and you can’t make every leader the minister. Going by the past record, turncoats who join any party focus only on power and on making money. No one bothers to serve the people.
But this time it would be a different strategy. The performance of leaders coming from other parties would judged thoroughly before accepting them. The first priority would be given to able candidates in the BJP and the second preference would be given to those coming from other parties.

Moving on, the solutions worked out by the BJP central leadership to end your feud with K.S. Eshwarappa were not implemented. You have not reconstituted some of the district units. Haven’t you betrayed  party central leaders?
There is no question of betraying central leaders. Based on the requirements, the office-bearers of various districts of the BJP would be changed. Right now there is a need to make some changes in the party leadership in Belagavi, Ballari and Kodagu district units. The party organization in other districts is strong to face the political challenges in coming days.

You may say there is no internal tussle. But people think otherwise. This shows, Mr Yeddyurappa has not changed to be accommodative, large hearted and considerate. Why?
All differences within the party have been resolved and the party leadership will handle party affairs taking all leaders and workers into confidence. About being accommodative, you can ask the party leaders working alongwith me. My only aim is to bring the BJP to power by projecting the leadership and governance provided by Narendra Modi and Amit Shah. We are planning to make strategies for the Karnataka elections once the assembly elections are over in north India.

Which constituency will you contest from? There were reports that you are considering changing your Assembly constituency in the 2018 poll?
I will contest from my home turf – Shikaripur. I have no plans to contest from anywhere else.


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