A last ditch effort by BJP to prevent B S Yeddyurappa from quitting the party has apparently failed with the former Karnataka chief minister today sticking to his decision to float a new party on December nine.
Yeddyurappa, who was made to step down as the Chief Minister last year, virtually shut the doors of negotiations, declaring he has already travelled a lot of distance in moving away from BJP and that there was no change in his plans to launch his new regional party as planned on December nine at a rally at Haveri, some 350 km from here.
BJP leader Arun Jaitely, who arrived here last night, keeping his trouble-shooting mission under wraps, met Yeddyurappa at the residence of an RSS leader and tried to persuade the lingayat strongman to reconsider his decision to bid good bye to the party, BJP sources said. Though, the sources said Yeddyurappa met Jaitley last night and that he ruled out any reconciliation, the former Chief Minister, however, refused to admit that such a meeting took place. "There is no change in my plan to launch new party on December nine. Unmindful of whether anyone joins me on that day, I will go ahead with it. There is no question of looking back", Yeddyurappa told reporters at his residence here. Yeddyurappa, who has been fuming at the BJP leadership at the Centre and in the state for "ill-treatment" meted out to him, said Jaitley was in the city to hold talks with him, but he did not meet him last night. "I have respect for Jaitley.
But there is no question of meeting any one or going back on my decision. I am not leaving BJP out of vengeance. I have certain dreams for Karnataka, which I could not realise when I was in BJP. "Now I want to realise those dreams of making Karnataka a progressive state," he said. Yeddyurappa said he banked on the support of people. The 70-year-old Karnataka leader, who had played a key role in installing the first-ever BJP government in the South, said he was not floating a new political outfit to become chief minister or get any other post. He also ruled out the possibility of his accepting any position like chief ministership or party presidentship in BJP. According to the party sources, Jaitley was expected to return to Delhi today.