Bangalore: Cocking a snook at the BJP top brass, sulking former Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa on Friday praised Congress leadership, including Sonia Gandhi, asserting he would not hesitate to leave the party if his honour was at stake.

"Everything was all right in the party when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the President. The situation is not well now. There are problems in states like Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra," Yeddyurappa told reporters here.

Yeddyurappa, who has boycotted the BJP National Executive at Surajkund for the first time in his over four-decade long association with the party, said the central leadership should devote attention towards correcting the situation, "being experienced everywhere."
    
His critical comments against the central leadership and, going a step further, praising Congress could not have at a worse time for the BJP than when it is holding its National Executive meeting.

Yeddyurappa also hit out at some party leaders for "ill-treating" him, but did not name them.

However, he accused his party President Nitin Gadkari of being influenced by his bete noire and BJP General Secretary H N Anantkumar.

Mincing no words against Gadkari, he said "Unfortunately you have also been listening to leaders with vested interests and made me a scapegoat".

"You have promised so many things to me. But without any reason you have not kept up your promise", Yeddyurappa, who is upset at not being made the state unit chief, said.

The Lingayat community leader reiterated he would soon announce his future political plans and praised the Congress leadership for the second time in recent months.

"We must appreciate Congress leadership right from Jawaharlal Nehru to Sonia Gandhi's tenure. They never let down their leaders on false allegations. (They) never went back on their promises," he said.

Yeddyurappa continued his tirade against Anantkumar and sarcastically suggested to Gadkari to make the Bangalore South MP the state unit party chief and help him realise his long time ambition of becoming the chief minister.

Yeddyurappa, who announced his second leg of tour in parts of North Karnataka district including Bidar from October five to know the pulse of people and their support to his leadership, reiterated that he will not hesitate to leave BJP "if there is a dent to my personal pride and honour".

"That phase is fast approaching. I will not hesitate to quit BJP, if my personal honour is at stake", he said to a question on when he would take a call on quitting BJP.

He said for the first time in 40 years, he has not attended the National Executive meet and added he has written a detailed letter to Gadkari outlining the reasons for his non-participation.

Yeddyurappa, whose effort to gain state unit party president's post failed to materialise in the wake of tough stand adopted by the central leadership, dismissed reports that he was trying to get that post through "backdoor".

He said he has asked his loyalists to call off their Delhi visit to seek the state unit party president post for him as such an exercise would amount to "insulting" him.

The 69-year-old leader also stressed that "even if Gadkari offered me that post, I will not accept. I have requested my partymen to send me letters on what should be my future course of action and what they want me to do".

Yeddyurappa slammed Deputy Chief Minister K S Eswarappa, who is also heading the state unit now, for his recent statement that all MLAs will not be assured of "B" form (to contest assembly polls), saying he and his loyalists "will not queue up to get that form".

Asked if he has already decided to float a new political party, Yeddyurappa said, "you can guess in your own way".

"Anantkumar succeded in carrying out a malicious campaign against me and convinced leaders like L K Advani and Arun Jaitley," he charged.

He rapped the BJP for creating two deputy chief minister posts, which he termed as "new culture".

(Agencies)

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