Shikaripura: Former Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa seems to be sitting pretty in his bastion here, as he seeks a new political destiny and wants to play the twin role of a demolition man for the ruling BJP and a "king-maker" in the May 5 Assembly polls.
A political heavyweight that he is, the mission in 2013 for him is exactly the opposite to that he had in 2008. It was to bring BJP to power to make it the first-ever party government in the South then. Now, he is looking to turn the clock back and play the role of a terminator for the BJP.
Yeddyurappa's confidence about his damaging capacity stems from the outcome of the recently held elections to urban local bodies, where his fledgling outfit Karnataka Janatha Paksha (KJP) played spoilsport for the BJP, resulting in the ruling party recording a poor performance.
The former BJP strongman has his roots in this constituency in Shimoga district, where he made a humble beginning in his life as a clerk in a rice mill to gradually rise to the coveted post of Chief Minister.
The battle in his familiar terrain does not pose much of a serious challenge to Yeddyurappa, who is pitted against his former close friend and confidant, Shanthaveerappa Gowda of Congress. BJP has fielded a lightweight S H Manjunath, once a Congress member.
Yeddyurappa has won Shikaripura seat since its conversion from reserve constituency to general category from 1983 for six times up to 2008, when he bagged the seat with a huge margin against political stalwart and former Chief Minister late S Bangarappa, except in 1999.
Coming from the RSS stable, he was ably assisted by a committed cadre of foot-soldiers during election campaigns in the past but now he has to fend for himself and prove his worth as a political force after he parted company with BJP ending his four-decade long association before floating KJP in December last year.
Minus Yeddyurappa, the BJP too has lost its credence in Shikaripura, where it constituted the taluk committee only a month before the announcement of election schedule.
Congress has made a tactical move in fielding Shanthaveerappa Gowda, another Lingayat against Yeddyurappa. He worked as close friend of Yeddyurappa for over 30 years at Shikaripura. H Baligar has thrown hat in the ring from JDS.
There are 12 contestants in the field where the fight is between Congress and KJP, with a clear edge for Yeddyurappa.
Yeddyurappa said that people of his home town will certainly bless him this time knowing well his contribution to the taluk towards its all-round progress. "As son of farmer, I struggled to solve a number of their problems and, as Chief Minister, has converted Shikaripura as model town".
Gowda blamed Yeddyurappa for his "selfish and corrupt acts", charging him with misusing power to acquire huge wealth. "Voters are bent upon ending his 'unpardonable acts' and will teach him a lesson".