Bangalore, Nov 13: Firm on quitting the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) despite the top brass making a last-ditch effort to dissuade him from doing so, former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa on Monday said he is likely to advance his leaving the party by month-end.
"Earlier, I had decided to quit BJP on December 9. But I will now possibly quit BJP by month-end," he told reporters in Bangalore.
Yeddyurappa had decided to launch his Karnataka Janata Party on December 9 at a public rally in Haveri after the state's ruling BJP decided to hold the winter session of the assembly between December 5 to December 13, which would have left no option for Yeddyurappa's followers but to miss the launch of the party.
Reacting to BJP's warning that it would take action against those attending his rally at Haveri, Yeddyurappa said the issue was left to the BJP leadership but those interested to join his party were welcome and those who weren't could continue to be with the BJP.
Asked about his secret meeting with senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley, Yeddyurappa, who has been fuming at the BJP leadership at the Centre and in the state for ill-treatment meted out to him, said "anybody is welcome to meet me as I am not an untouchable."
Yeddyurappa said Jaitley had met him but refused to divulge what transpired between them. Jaitely, who had arrived here on November 10 night, had met Yeddyurappa at the residence of an RSS leader and tried to persuade the Lingayat strongman to reconsider his decision to bid goodbye to the party.
Replying to another question, Yeddyurappa said there was no going back on his plans to quit BJP and floating his party. "The process of floating a new party has already begun," he added.
The 70-year-old Karnataka leader, who had played a key role in installing the first-ever BJP government in the south and was made to step down as the chief minister in 2011, had said on Sunday that he was not floating a new political outfit to become the chief minister or get any other post.