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Home > News > Interview

The Rediff Interview/B S Yeddyurappa

BJP's first CM in south India speaks!

November 11, 2007

B S Yeddyurappa is a busy man. In fact, he is the man of the moment -- all set to create history when he takes over as the first Bharatiya Janata Party chief minister in southern India. Between hectic meetings and temple visits, Yeddyurappa took time off to share his thoughts on the power struggle, future plans and nostalgia surrounding his ascent to the seat of the chief minister of the state.

Here are few excerpts from the interview:

Till four weeks ago did you expect to be the chief minister?

I had God's blessings and I always believed that power will be transferred. This is what people wanted and hence I felt the will of the people will be upheld. The important thing was that I never even once lost hope.

How does it feel to be the first BJP chief minister in south India ?

My responsibilities have doubled. I will have the responsibility of building the party. There are also a lot of expectations from my leaders and that will be a challenge.

What are your immediate challenges?

Development of the state will top my priority list. It is never easy running a coalition. Keeping the partners happy and working in tandem along with them will be challenging. But I am sure I can handle it. Karnataka has the resources and talent to make it big. It will all depend on how it is tapped. I will concentrate equally on both the rural and urban sector. I dream of making Karnataka a model state.

There are various issues such as the Datta Peeta and the BMIC issue, which will haunt the government. How do you plan to deal with this?

I will ensure that BJP takes no decision without consulting our coalition partner. It is very important that partners are consulted for the success of a coalition government. We are yet to find solutions for both these problems. I can assure that there will be no problem and everything will be sorted out amicably and peacefully.

Are you confident that the government will last its entire term?

It is the people who want the government to last and not just the BJP or the JDS. I am sure the government will complete the remaining 19-month term. Both BJP and JDS will work patiently for development of the state. Hence, if both parties work in coordination with each other, I see no problem for the government to last its term.

Will it be easy to manage Deve Gowda?

We need his guidance. Let us not forget that he has vast experience and has been the prime minister of the country. If we are on the right track, why should it be difficult to work with Gowda? It is important that we speak to him directly and ensure that there is no misunderstanding.

What about the 12 conditions imposed by Gowda?

That will be sorted out too. It was a letter written to the party high command and the matter will be sorted out at that level. I have always maintained that problems and issues should be sorted out directly and not through the media. All these issues will be sorted out.

How long will the allocation of portfolios take?

Issues regarding the Home and Finance portfolios are to be discussed with the JDS. The remaining will be as per the agreement that both the parties entered into when the government was formed for the first time. As per the agreement all portfolios held by us will be transferred to the JDS and vice versa. All these issues will be discussed.

Have you become more patient?

Yes. I have learnt a lot in these weeks of political turmoil. My patience and perseverance will be key to the administration of the state.

The Rediff Interviews