New Delhi: The decision to remove B S Yeddyurappa from the chief minister`s post and his breaking away to form his own party as well as infighting have been major causes for BJP`s rout in Karnataka, several party leaders conceded on Wednesday.
The BJP Parliamentary Board today discussed the causes behind the party`s massive defeat in the southern state. The party`s first government in the South not only failed to retain power but was reduced from 110 seats in the last assembly elections in 2008 to just 40 seats this time.
While most leaders acknowledge that Yeddyurappa had his revenge in these elections by ensuring that BJP puts up a dismal performance, those who had insisted on the former chief minister`s ouster from the top post were firm that there cannot be a compromise in the fight against corruption.
Yeddyurappa had to step down in July, 2011 after the Karnataka Lokayukta indicted him in a land graft case. He quit BJP in November, 2012 and formed KJP.
"Division of our votebase has affected us as also the image of a lack of unity within the party in Karnataka. Also, the fact that some of our leaders walked out of the party and some formed another party," BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu said.
But the party defended its decision to sack Yeddyurappa and maintained that there is no proposal to bring him back to the BJP or NDA-fold. "The decision that we took at that time (to remove Yeddyurappa) was taken after careful thought. We took a principled stand. We do not repent it," Naidu said.
"We have taken a moral stand. BJP always takes a principled stand on larger issues of probity in public life. There is no proposal to bring anybody back," he added.
The BJP maintained that corruption is definitely an issue before the nation and Congress will have to pay for it.