Haveri (Karnataka): Famous for cardamom processing and a gateway to North Karnataka, Haveri town is all decked up to play host to the launch of a new regional political outfit on Sunday, floated by former BJP strongman BS Yeddyurappa.
At the launch-function, a disgruntled Yeddyurappa, who rebelled against the BJP leadership for their "ill-treatment" towards him, will take over the mantle of the Karnataka Janata Party through which he plans to realize his dream of becoming Chief Minister again.
The KJP, which is yet to test the electoral waters and is gearing up for the assembly elections, due in May next, has already generated intense debate among political circles.
After visiting the venue, Yeddyurappa warned BJP leaders against cracking the whip on MLAs, Ministers and MPs who support him.
"I will give a befitting reply to them (BJP), if they take action against my supporters. Some ministers, MLAs and MPs are enthusiastic to participate in tomorrow's rally,in spite of my request not to attend", the Lingayat strongman said.
"I want this government to complete its term.If they create a situation wherein it falls, I am not responsible", he said, warning such a step would spell trouble for the Jagadish Shettar-led ministry.
BJP MLA from Haveri Nehru Olekar, Shivaraj Sajjnar, MLC and Suresh Gowda Patil have been in the forefront of the arrangements for the KJP show and they are being assisted by former minister H Halappa, B P Harish and B Y Raghavendra, MP and Yeddyurappa's son.
A huge pandal has been erected on a 35-acre land with a seating arrangement for 300 on the dais and 1.5 lakh spectators. Organisers claim that about five lakh people will participate in the KJP launch function.
Police said entry of vehicles into the town has been banned and parking facilitated on the outskirts.
Last year, another estranged BJP leader, B Sreeramulu, who is close aide of the jailed mining baron G Janardhana Reddy, launched his own party-- Badavara, Shramikara and Raithara (BSR) Party.
Yeddyurappa and Sreeramulu have already declared that they would contest all the 224 seats in the assembly polls. The state has witnessed the birth of several local outfits and none of them have succeeded so far, including the Karnataka Congress Party, floated by late S Bangarappa, who was considered as a leader of backward classes.
The JDS, led by former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda though has national character, but its influence is limited to Karnataka and it would also be vying to retain its space in the coming elections.
The JDS currently has 26 MLAs and three Lok Sabha MPs. Rejecting arguments that regional outfits were unlikely to win over the voters, Yeddyurappa said "the time is ripe for regional parties now".