He is the man of the moment for the Bharatiya Janata Party. The party plans to ride high on his name during the forthcoming elections in Karnataka. B S Yeddyurappa, who was ousted from power barely a week after he took over as chief minister, says the time has come to move on.
Beaming with confidence (over-confidence according to his critics), he meets with party workers at the party's new election office in Bangalore. He tells them, "Be ready for a BJP sweep. We will break all records this time."
Rediff.com's Vicky Nanjappa caught up with the BJP's chief ministerial candidate and spoke to him about his plans both before and after the elections.
What will be the prime focus of the BJP if voted to power in Karnataka?
Development, development and development. We have a separate plan for Bangalore and the rest of Karnataka. Bangalore is congested and it seems investors are shying away from here. We need a better plan for Bangalore. For the rest of the state, we have an entirely different plan. We plan to provide more infrastructure to rural Karnataka and bridge the divide in society. There are a lot of expectations and responsibilities and we will fulfill each one of them. I want to make Karnataka a model state.
What can an investor expect in Bangalore if the BJP comes to power?
Better infrastructure, better connectivity and a hassle free environment. I personally believe that Bangalore needs two airports. I will try and ensure that both the airports are operational. I also want to ensure that all districts have airports for better connectivity. The people in Bangalore are suffocated at present and I would like to ensure that they have more breathing space in the city.
What are the poll prospects of the BJP during the elections in Karnataka?
We will romp home with an absolute majority. I get the feeling that I will lead the single largest party in Karnataka this time. I have the blessings of the people and my party.
Could you tell me the numbers please?
No. I cannot tell you that. It will not be right to speak numbers at the moment. All I can say is that last time we were the single largest party and this time we will beat all records. It will surprise all of you.
The BJP spoke about a white paper on corruption. I don't see any mention of it anywhere. Have you forgotten about it?
No we have not forgotten about it. This issue was raised keeping the Janata Dal (Secular) in mind. The people have forgotten the party. We want to start afresh and keep the past at bay as we need to progress. There will not be any need for a white paper on corruption. The swing is in our favour and we will focus only on development. There will not be any talk on the past misdeeds of the rest of the parties. We do not need the miseries of the others to win elections. We have the capacity to do so based on our own achievements.
There was a lot of hype regarding the return of (former Congress chief minister) S M Krishna. What difference will that make and what do you think about his return?
(Laughs). Do we need to talk about him? If you insist, let me tell that he will make no difference. The people are there to judge and they know all about him. Let us not forget that under his leadership the party lost miserably during the last elections. This time too they will face the same result. What happened to the promise made by Krishna that he would turn Bangalore into Singapore? Can't you see the state of this city and what a mess it is in today?
What if you fall short of the magic number and are forced to form a coalition government? Who would you go with? The JD-S?
(Sounding slightly angry). Did I not tell you in the beginning itself that we will beat all records and romp home with a majority. When we are so confident about our standing in the election, then where is the question of a coalition government. The issue does not arise. I know we will form the government on our own and we don't need anybody's support. When this is the position I don't think we need to even talk in terms of a tie up with the JD-S. They are traitors.