BJP's efforts to put up a show of unity during the ongoing national executive meet on Friday got yet another push after the Karnataka's former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa flew from Bangalore to participate in today's deliberations. Yeddyurappa, who has been in a deep sulk with his party leadership for sidelining him, clarified that he would not demand any post for himself but reiterated that the party should project Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi as candidate for the Prime Minister's post ahead of 2014 general elections. Yeddyurappa had skipped the first day deliberations at the national executive meeting on Thursday. His participation is a good news for the party after it struck deal with Modi who changed his mind to attend the crucial meet after his bete noire Sanjay Joshi resigned from the national executive.
Incidentally, both Modi and Yeddyurappa had earlier decided to skip the meet.
Yeddyurappa, who has been targeting party veteran LK Advani and former minister Anant Kumar, reiterated that Modi has been the tallest leader in the party and his acceptability within the party and across was unparellel. "Our aim is to build the state. I am not going to demand any post for me. I want to focus on the development of my state. I want Karnataka to be the number one state in the country," Yeddyurappa added.
However, Yeddyurappa still believes his party has failed to give him his due by ignoring his demand to be reinstated as Chief Minister of Karnataka despite a series of corruption cases. He said he would congratulate Gadkari for getting a second term as BJP president. "People of Karnataka, have great respect for Gadkariji and he has stood by me like a rock so I'm going to congratulate him," he said.
BJP leader, who is attending the meet, admitted that it would be a daunting task for Gadkari, who is set to continue as the party president for another three years, to keep the top leadership together and keep rising dissent among state units under control. "Gadkari had to go a step backward asking his close confidant and the RSS pracharak Sanjay Joshi to resign from the national executive in order to pacify Modi who subsequently came here to attend the meet. However, this does not augur well for the party and Gadkari in particular who are quite desperate to keep party interests above the individual aspirations, he said.
It must be mentioned here that the BJP national executive approved an amendment to the party constitution yesterday paving the way for that second term for Gadkari, but the Modi-Joshi episode proved that the BJP president, who had re-inducted Joshi, an old RSS hand, into the party only months ago, remains at odds with other senior leaders of the BJP.