Bangalore: Former Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa on Friday announced he has sent his resignation from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to party president Nitin Gadkari.
“I have resigned from primary membership of BJP and sent letter to party president Nitin Gadkari,” announced Yeddyurappa at a public meeting at Freedom Park in the city centre.
Ahead of the public meeting he offered prayers at a temple and turned emotional shedding tears while talking to reporters.
He said that he was leaving the BJP with a "heavy heart" as "I have given my 40 years of life to build it".
The 69-year-old Yeddyurappa then resigned from the State Assembly, soon after quitting the Bharatiya Janata Party.
He submitted his resignation to Speaker KG Bopaiah at the state secretariat in the city centre and urged that it be accepted immediately.
He then told the Speaker that he was giving up his Assembly seat on his own.
Yeddyurappa represented Shikaripura in his home district Shimoga, about 280 km north of Bangalore.
Earlier in the day, Yeddyurappa became emotional as he recalled his long association with the party even as he trained his guns at BJP leaders for hatching a "conspiracy" against him.
"The party has given everything to me. And I have sacrificed my life to build my previous party (BJP)", he said, fighting back tears.
Yeddyurappa said he is leaving the party "because of our own (BJP) people. They don`t want me to continue in the party; that`s why I am resigning from the primary membership as also MLAship".
"Some people (in BJP) did not want me to continue as chief minister. They tried to put me in the dock. I tolerated in the past one year with a lot of patience", Yeddyurappa said. "I am leaving the party with deep sadness".
Without naming anybody, he said some state leaders "stabbed me in the back".
“Despite all my contributions to the party, and getting so many Lok Sabha seats, still BJP has not treated me well,” said the Lingayat leader.
Earlier in the day, the entire BJP unit in Yeddyurappa`s constituency quit.
Commenting on the development, Yeddyurappa had said: “I have not requested anyone to resign from the BJP for the time being. I request my supporting MLAs not to resign from their membership for now.”
The BJP has 119 members in the 225-strong Assembly, whose term ends in May next.
The Lingayat leader, who is credited with bringing BJP to power in Karnataka and making it as the first ever party government in the South, had requested all his well wishers and supporters to come to his rally and bless him to help build a strong state.
Yeddyurappa, who is sure of receiving people’s support in the upcoming polls, further vowed to defeat BJP and contest in every constituency.
Yeddyurappa`s exit is expected to put the BJP at a crossroads, but the party leaders have put up a brave face saying it will have no impact.
He asserted that he was firm on his resolve to launch his new regional party, Karnataka Janata Party (KJP), which would formally come into existence on December 09 at Haveri.
Yeddyurappa and his loyalists have been claiming that at least 50 legislators were keen on joining KJP.
However, Jagadish Shettar, the BJP`s third Chief Minister in its over four years of rule in Karnataka, and state BJP chief KS Eshwarappa claim that only a handful of party legislators would join the new outfit.
All efforts by top BJP leadership including its president Nitin Gadkari and senior leader Arun Jaitley to prevent the "worst", failed to pacify the agitated Yeddyurappa, who was axed from chief ministership in 2011 in the wake of allegations of corruption.
Yeddyurappa turned more belligerent after BJP rebuffed his repeated attempts to regain chief ministership and refused to at least make him the state unit party chief. Enraged over what he called as `betrayal` by his party leaders, Yeddyurappa decided to bid a good bye to BJP and float his regional party.
Bookanakere Siddalingappa Yeddyurappa began his political stint when he was elected as president of the Shikaripura Taluk erstwhile Jana Sangha in 1972 and won his first Assembly poll in 1983.
(With PTI inputs)