For months now, former Karnataka chief minister and state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president B.S. Yeddyurappa has maintained that the coalition government of the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular), or JD(S) will crumble under the weight of its own differences. The Lingayat strongman has vehemently denied any role in the developing political drama in which at least 13 legislators from the ruling coalition resigned last week. The resignations have come against the backdrop of the BJP winning 25 of the 28 seats in the Lok Sabha elections and reducing the Congress and the JD(S) to one each. The results of the parliamentary polls have also given the BJP the confidence that it could return to power. Yeddyurappa, who was forced by a post-poll alliance between the Congress and the JD(S) to step down barely three days after taking oath as chief minister in May last year, is the front runner to take up the top job if the BJP returns to power in Karnataka. Edited excerpts from an e-mail interview:
The Congress and JD(S) blame you and the BJP for the resignations.
I am repeatedly saying that the resignation of legislators of rival parties has nothing to do with us or our party. An internecine quarrel has forced them to resign.
What is your next course of action?
We will wait and watch the situation.
Why were the legislators taken to Mumbai? Did they deal directly with your Central leadership or you?
When I am saying that their resignation has nothing to do with us where is the question of us taking them to Mumbai or dealing with them.
What according to you happened within the JD(S)-Congress that led to its collapse?
I want to refresh your memory. For the last six months, I have been saying that more than 20 Congress legislators have expressed their no-confidence in H.D. Kumaraswamy. Now, the situation has reached a flash point.
Are more people likely to resign and join your party?
I am not an astrologer to predict this. However, the situation in the Congress and the JD(S) has worsened and if many more resign, it will not be a surprise. I will not predict which party they will join.
How do you respond to allegations that legislators were paid money to defect?
Congress and JD(S) leaders are making such wild allegations against me and my party for the last one year. They have made this a habit to divert the people’s attention from burning issues such as drought or developmental works. Failure to maintain their flock has made them to come out with such false statements.
When will the BJP stake claim to form the government?
We will wait and watch the situation. If the situation warrants, we will discuss the issue with the party high command and leaders in Delhi before taking any decision. However, we want to clarify that there is no question of fresh elections as the people’s mandate is for five years and one more election will be a burden on the state exchequer.