Former Karnataka chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, who has been attacking his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders for months now, said on Wednesday that he would leave the party in December and the decision was final.
"The BJP leaders do not want me and I do not need BJP. I will leave the party in December and none can change my decision," he told reporters on the margins of a function at Jigani on Bangalore's outskirts.
Yeddyurappa, who became BJP's first chief minister in Karnataka in May 2008 and was forced out of the office July last year over mining bribery charges, said he was holding talks with his supporters on whether to form a party or join another party.
Largely credited for leading the BJP to power for the first time in a south Indian state, Yeddyurappa has been slamming and mocking at his party for not "keeping its promise" to either reinstate him as chief minister or make him state party chief.
He is timing the exit with assembly election in mind. They are likely in May next year.
Yeddyurappa apparently does not want to quit now as it may bring down the third BJP regime in four years and he would not like to be blamed for it, particularly because he and the Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar belongs to the same Lingayat caste.
The community, making up for around 17 percent of the state with an over 65 million population, is generally believed to backing BJP since 1990s on the ground that the Congress has neglected it.
Nearly half of the ministers in the 34-member Karnataka cabinet are Yeddyurapa's loyalists and have been relentlessly lobbying with the BJP central leadership to make him state party chief.
Their efforts have so far failed as senior leader L. K. Advani is said to be strongly opposed to rehabilitating Yeddyurappa till he is cleared of all charges against him.
The former chief minister is facing over a dozen cases of corruption and illegal land deals. His two sons, B. Y. Raghavendra, a BJP Lok Sabha member from Karnataka, and B. Y. Vijayendra and son-in-law R. N. Sohan Kumar are also accused in most of these cases.