Former Karnataka chief minister B S Yeddyurappa is determined not to give up till the Bharatiya Janata Party meets his demands. First, he threatened to quit the party if he is not given a suitable post by January 15 deadline set by him. He was backed by loyalist MLAs then and now he has decided to take on the central leadership with the support of the public.
Yeddyurappa has planned a mega convention to be held in Tumkur on January 19 where he is expected to address a mammoth gathering of his supporters and declare himself as the undisputed leader of the BJP. The party, however, has not recognised the convention.
Yeddyurappa's rivals within the BJP have decided to keep mum on the issue. They say that they would decide whether or not to take part in the convention within a couple of days. If the anti-Yeddyurappa faction decides to stay away from the convention the differences would be further out in the open.
Yeddyurappa on the other hand would like to show his party that he not only enjoying the support of 40 MLAs, but is also wanted by the people of the state. He has also been very careful while zeroing down on the venue.
Tumkur houses the Siddaganga Mutt, which is the most powerful of the Lingayat mutts in Karnataka. The Lingayat seers have a huge influence on the masses in the state because of their social service. Yeddyurappa himself is a Lingayat.
Insiders say that the BJP has no intention to rehabilitate Yeddyurappa in the party structure. He realises that his only option is to pressure the party by gathering support from the public.
The battle between Yeddyurappa and the rest of the party has received a mixed reaction in Karnataka. Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda, who was installed by Yeddyurappa, says there is no cause of concern and the problems would be solved soon.
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh has criticised Yeddyurappa and state BJP president K S Eshwarappa and has asked them to sort out their differences soon and not battle it out in public.
The Congress, which lacks momentum in Karnataka, has however decided to take advantage of the situation and is planning a strategy. They have predicted a snap poll in the state, as they believe that Yeddyurappa may pull down the government. They have oragnised a programme in Karnataka between January 9 and 12 to choose candidates for the next assembly elections.
G Parameshwar, the Congress chief in Karnataka said, "There is a breakdown of the system in the state and the need for an election has risen."
However, those who have been following Yeddyurappa say that the Congress should not jump to any conclusion. It is unlikely that Yeddyurappa will take a hasty decision. His plans of floating a regional party may not go through, as he is aware of the poor performance of regional parties in the state.
There are also talks of him joining the Nationalist Congress Party or the Janata Dal-United, but Yeddyurappa is well aware that he is identified because of the BJP.